OnQ Blog

LTE-U Forum: Ensuring LTE and Wi-Fi fairly coexist in unlicensed spectrum

Mar 3, 2015

Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

For several years now, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, has been touting the importance of addressing the 1000x data challenge, or the trend of significantly increased data demand from consumers. The number of connected devices and the high-bandwidth intensive content running on them creates a challenge for those tasked with providing Internet connectivity.

It is no secret that Qualcomm Technologies believes one of the ways to address this demand is through LTE-U, which extends the benefits of LTE and LTE Advanced to unlicensed spectrum, enabling mobile operators to offload data traffic onto unlicensed frequencies more efficiently and effectively. One key issue that industry members have raised is whether LTE and Wi-Fi are good neighbors—creating little or no interference—and whether LTE will fairly share unlicensed spectrum with Wi-Fi.

Important to note is that Qualcomm Technologies has been working with others in the industry—including Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson and Samsung—in a Verizon-led LTE-U Forum to publicly provide information on technical evaluation of the use of LTE-U. On Monday, Verizon released the following at the LTE-U forum website:

  • Technical report (TR) including methodology, deployment scenarios and observations from comprehensive network simulation-based technology evaluations
  • Small cell and user equipment minimum performance specifications
  • Coexistence specifications designed to ensure fair sharing of spectrum between LTE-U and Wi-Fi, as well as between LTE-U operators

(Small cell and user equipment conformance specifications will be available at a later date.)

From the LTE-U Forum release:

The Forum has worked extensively to develop specifications for implementing LTE-U to coexist with Wi-Fi and other technologies. “Unlicensed spectrum is designed to promote innovation and choices for consumers. Today, unlicensed spectrum is shared by a wide variety of technologies and products, including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, cordless phones, baby monitors, and garage door openers. With the release of the Forum’s report, Verizon looks forward to working with the unlicensed community to ensure that consumers can choose the best connectivity available to meet their needs without negatively impacting other unlicensed users,” said Ed Chan, senior vice president of Network Technology and Planning for Verizon.

For more information on LTE-U and coexistence with Wi-Fi, go here.

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Mazen Chmaytelli

Sr. Director, Business Development