Verizon Releases First Technical Report Evaluating Use of LTE Unlicensed Spectrum

by Istvan Fekete on March 5, 2015

Verizon Wireless has published its first technical report evaluating the use of LTE unlicensed spectrum, dubbed as LTE-U. The report was released through the LTE-U Forum formed by Verizon in cooperation with Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, Qualcomm Technologies (a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated), and Samsung.

“Verizon has long been a leader in LTE, with the largest, most reliable 4G LTE network in the United States that consumers rely on every day where they work, live and play,” said Ed Chan, senior vice president of network technology and planning for Verizon. “With LTE-U, we believe we’ll be able to leverage every available technology to help deliver more connectivity for customers.”

“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,” Chan said.

This first report is an important step toward showing how LTE-U can coexist with Wi-Fi and other technologies that share unlicensed spectrum.
Verizon has big plans for 2016: It wants to deploy LTE Unlicensed technology in the 5 GHz and 3.5 GHz bands.

In a strategic move, the carrier scheduled the LTE-U announcement for the Mobile World Congress trade show, informing a wide variety of network and chipset vendors about its plans. The timing was good, since chip vendors are discussing ways of moving LTE transmissions through unlicensed spectrum.

Verizon’s use of the LTE-U nomenclature is also noteworthy in the light of its recent “rebranding” of Licensed-Assisted Access (LAA) by the 3GPP stressing to government spectrum regulators that the use of LTE by a secondary carrier in an unlicensed band would be accompanied by a licensed primary carrier.

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