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Qualcomm's Next Target Is Unlicensed LTE Over 5 GHz

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Feb 26, 2015, 7:00 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

Qualcomm today announced its initial foray with LTE into the unlicensed 5GHz band, spectrum that is normally reserved for WiFi networks. Qualcomm believes LTE-U, or LTE in unlicensed spectrum, could help carriers fill in blank spots with small cells. LTE-U would be use for downlink purposes only and could supplement standard cellular coverage in targeted areas. Qualcomm has made a transceiver for cell phones that can receive LTE in the 5GHz band, as well as the corresponding transmitters for small cells and/or base stations. The phone transceiver would work in tandem with a normal LTE modem, and the chip can handle CAT 6 with 3x20MHz carrier aggregation. Qualcomm claims LTE-U provides reliable and predictable performance; a seamless experience for users; better performance than LTE or WiFi could provide separately; and additional capacity for carriers. Qualcomm says LTE-U can coexist with WiFi and not cause interference or other problems thanks to its more efficient use of the spectrum. Qualcomm expects to see LTE-U capabilities added to handsets during the second half of the year, though it's not clear if or when carriers might add LTE-U to their cellular networks.



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Feb 26, 2015, 7:10 PM

Small Cell

When they say small cell how big are we taking? Line of sight, quarter mile radius, half mile radius...?
The food court at the mall might have several, for example.
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