AT&T Wants LTE-U Opponents to Agree to Play Fair
Joan Marsh, AT&T's vice president of federal and regulatory affairs, today prosed that the FCC use existing rules to help organizations on opposite sides of the LTE-U debate find some middle ground. LTE-U is the use of LTE services over unlicensed spectrum, or WiFi frequencies. Proprietors of WiFi gear and networks worry about interference and don't want cellular network operators to encroach on what they see as their turf. Meanwhile, carriers want to use unlicensed spectrum to help offset capacity needs on their cellular (and licensed) spectrum. AT&T calls LTE-U opponents' fears unfounded, but recognizes that everyone must agree to move forward. Marsh believes the FCC can use laws built into the 1996 Telecommunications Act to manage interference concerns. The heart of the matter relies on how the FCC chooses to define words such as "willful" and "malicious" and "cause interference." In short, Marsh believes setting clear definitions will give the FCC the teeth it needs to ensure LTE-U proponents have the access they want without causing the interference LTE-U opponents fear. "We need a clear framework that will allow those technologies and the innovators behind them to continue to deliver on the promise that unlicensed spectrum offers — to innovate free from burdensome regulatory requirements and exclusionary conduct by incumbents for the benefit of wireless consumers everywhere — while ensuring existing users that all will be required by the FCC to act reasonably and play fair," concluded Marsh.
Qualcomm Says First MulteFire Connection a Success
Qualcomm today said it made the world's first over-the-air connection using MulteFire. MulteFire is a new, more advanced version of LTE that uses a technology called listen-before-talk (LBT) to operate on unlicensed spectrum.
FCC Gives Verizon and Qualcomm Permission to Test LTE-U
The FCC is allowing Verizon and Qualcomm to move forward with limited tests of LTE in unlicensed spectrum bands generally reserved for WiFi. Specifically, the companies are being allowed to perform small-scale tests at two Verizon facilities, one in Oklahoma City, Okla., and the other in Raleigh, N.C.
T-Mobile Rolling Out LTE-U
T-Mobile today said it is beginning to upgrade its 4G network with LTE-U this spring. LTE-U allows LTE to operate on the unlicensed spectrum in the 5 GHz band, which is typically reserved for WiFi.
AT&T Finally Using WCS Spectrum for LTE; Will Test LTE-U
AT&T has begun deploying LTE on its 2.3GHz WCS spectrum in a handful of markets around the country. Earlier this year, AT&T said it would begin the deployment by summer, and it is just meeting that commitment.
FCC Relaxes Rules Governing 800 MHz Spectrum
The FCC this week made it easier for carriers to add LTE to their 800 MHz spectrum holdings. Rules concerning the 800 MHz band (CDMA Band Class 0, LTE Band 5) have been in place since 1981 and limit how much power carriers can use to transmit wireless signals across those airwaves.