Bringing the power of 5G to unlicensed spectrum globally.

5G NR-U is a major milestone in the journey Qualcomm embarked on to realize its vision for high-performance cellular networking in unlicensed spectrum. NR-U can advance private networks with the power of 5G and can alleviate spectrum constraints to deliver better 5G experiences.

Almost a decade of Qualcomm leadership in unlicensed spectrum.

5G NR-U is the first global cellular standard with both license-assisted and standalone use of unlicensed spectrum.

Unlicensed bands in the 5G NR-U roadmap.

Release 16 begins with 5G NR-U in the 5 GHz unlicensed band. With new unlicensed 6 GHz spectrum now being available in the US and coming soon to other countries, the 5G NR-U standard is gearing up to support this band next, followed by the 60 GHz millimeter wave band which is being developed as part of Release 17.

Anchored or Standalone NR-U

Use anchored NR-U to combine unlicensed spectrum with licensed spectrum, i.e. licensed-assisted access, or shared spectrum such as CBRS to boost deployments for a better user experience with higher 5G speeds. Alternatively, deploy 5G private networks entirely with unlicensed spectrum using standalone NR-U.

Spectrum sharing provides critical benefits for 5G.

Access to shared and unlicensed spectrum will extend 5G in multiple dimensions such as providing more capacity, higher spectrum utilization, and new deployment scenarios. It will benefit mobile operators with licensed spectrum, but also create opportunities for those without licensed spectrum to take advantage of 5G technologies.

Spectrum sharing is valuable for a wide range of deployments.

Licensed spectrum aggregation

Enhanced mobile broadband with higher speeds and better user experiences.

Enhanced local broadband

Neutral host networks in venues and neighborhood networks.

5G private networks

For local and customized industrial IoT and enterprise services.

Qualcomm pioneered spectrum sharing technologies in LTE.

From conducting the world’s first over-the-air LAA trial, to demonstrating fair co-existence with Wi-Fi, to being founding members of the MulteFire Alliance and the CBRS Alliance, our early R&D work on spectrum sharing has driven the industry forward.


Aggregating licensed and unlicensed spectrum for faster data rates. 


Bringing new opportunities by operating solely in unlicensed spectrum.


Opening up spectrum still being used by existing incumbents through spectrum sharing.

LWA (LTE + Wi-Fi)

Allowing mobile operators to fully manage carrier Wi-Fi resources through the LTE anchor.

Making spectrum sharing a commercial reality to globalize Gigabit LTE.

Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ Gigabit LTE modems made LTE-U/LAA technology a commercial reality. And while it is possible to achieve Gigabit speeds with licensed spectrum, LAA reduces the amount of licensed spectrum needed to as little as 10 MHz—enabling more global operators to deliver Gigabit LTE services.

Qualcomm Snapdragon is a product of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.

5G CoMP for Spectrum Sharing

Mar 19, 2019



Webinar: How NR-U can transform what 5G can do for you

Jun 11, 2020


Webinar: New Business Opportunities for 5G NR

Apr 26, 2019


5G CoMP for Spectrum Sharing

Mar 19, 2019


5G NR Spectrum Sharing

Nov 29, 2018


How can CoMP extend 5G NR to high capacity and ultra-reliable communications

Sep 21, 2018


Unlicensed Spectrum

May 14, 2018


Making the best use of unlicensed spectrum

May 19, 2015


Extending LTE Advanced to Unlicensed Spectrum

May 14, 2018


LTE Advanced in Unlicensed Spectrum

Feb 18, 2015


Webinar: What can we do with 5G NR Spectrum Sharing that isn’t possible today?

May 14, 2018


New 3GPP effort on NR in unlicensed spectrum expands 5G to new areas

May 9, 2017


Webinar: Best Use of Unlicensed Spectrum

Feb 26, 2015


Progress on Licensed-Assisted Access (LAA) and Its Relationship to LTE-U and MulteFire

May 14, 2018


Documents to download

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