LTE-Unlicensed to Augment Mobile Broadband Networks

LTE Unlicensed for Mobile DataWe have already seen how Wi-Fi is better suited for enhancing coverage as Carrier Grade Technology. LTE-Unlicensed (LTE-U) or License Assisted Access LTE (LAA-LTE) is a new technology that was first introduced by Qualcomm in 2013, although it is not expected to be commercially available until late 2015 or early 2016. LTE-U enables mobile communications using the LTE standard, but it does this over unlicensed spectrum. LTE-U augments licensed wireless LTE spectrum with unlicensed spectrum in the 5GHz frequency band. It is essentially adding additional capacity to existing LTE networks. T-Mobile has been an early adopter of LTE-U technology.

How is LTE-U Different from Mobile Backhaul ?
India’s Wireless Networks are heavily relying on Mobile Backhaul which have been allotted frequencies greater than 10GHZ+ to carry traffic from tower to tower until they reach the OFC.

The primary benefit of LTE-U is increasing the overall mobile network capacity, thereby enabling higher peak and average data speeds and reduced latencies for mobile devices. For example, LTE networks use about 20MHz of spectrum, and unlicensed bands such as 5GHz have 500MHz of potential usable frequencies. In public spaces or indoors, LTE-U will be used where spectrum is constrained. LTE-U utilizes carrier aggregation, which is the bonding of transmissions from different bands; for example, combining together a licensed spectrum band with an adjacent unlicensed spectrum band to support higher capacity.

Qualcomm has designed it in such a way that LTE-U will use unlicensed spectrum on an on-demand basis , while the mobile session remains anchored in the licensed band to ensure seamless mobility and predictable performance. Thus, users have the reliability and quality assurance of cellular networks, plus the optionality to boost data-rates when needed. As it relates to stand-alone carrier Wi-Fi, LTE-U will dynamically select unlicensed bands to reduce interference with Wi-Fi networks.

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