Cable Companies Use LTE-U Tests That Rely on Extremes, T-Mobile Says

by Istvan Fekete on August 26, 2015

LTE-U opponents claiming that the technology will adversely impact Wi-Fi operations are using data from testing with parameters set at extremes that have nothing to do with reality and do not reflect actual LTE-U specifications, T-Mobile says in a recent FCC filing.

“While cable companies defend these tests by noting that carriers have the ability to adjust LTE-U parameters, the ability to adjust parameters allows a carrier to refine operations based on the environment — a result that will promote equitable sharing,” T-Mobile said in the filing. “Further, LTE-U’s connection to licensed spectrum through a control channel allows carriers to better address problems if they should occur.”

The carrier has met with FCC Office of Engineering and Technology (OET) and Wireless Telecommunication Bureau (WTB) staff, and used the meeting to explain that the FCC’s technology-neutral approach in the unlicensed bands have been highly successful and emphasized the need to maintain this position, as LTE-U meets” all Part 15 requirements and includes strong coexistence mechanisms.” It has also reiterated its plans to begin LTE-U trials in 2016.

T-Mobile isn’t the only carrier eyeing LTE-U, though. Verizon also has plans to use LTE in unlicensed spectrum: It formed the LTE-U Forum last year by joining forces with Qualcomm, Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, and Samsung, and released the first report in March evaluating the use of LTE-U.

Getting involved in standard processes isn’t typical for FCC, but in May it opened a comment period on LTE-E and LAA (Licensed Assisted Access) after hearing concerns that LTE could overcrowd existing unlicensed users, namely Wi-Fi. The cable industry has expressed concerns that LTE-U will disrupt Wi-Fi consumers.

To answer those concerns, the Wi-Fi Alliance says it is developing a comprehensive coexistence test plan aimed at assessing the level of fair sharing between LTE-U and Wi-Fi, and that it will work with LTE-U vendors to test their product in order to make sure they pass the coexistence tests.

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Written by: Istvan Fekete. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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