NTT DOCOMO and Huawei has announced this week that LTE can be deployed over the 5GHz spectrum used in Wi-Fi networks which in being used in several countries.
The research was done by the companies since February 2014 in Huawei facility in Beijing. The experiments were based on Licensed-Assisted Access (LAA) technology that becomes compatible with LTE-Unlicensed. DoCoMo mentioned that 5GHz band can provide network speeds up to 100Mbps based on the results of an indoor test.
Ryan Ding, Executive Director of the board and President of Products and Solutions at Huawei said in a statement:
“We are pleased to see successful joint field results on deploying LAA in partnership with NTT DoCoMo. Huawei is committed to helping operators to provide end-users with abundant mobile broadband experience by utilizing core LTE technologies such as LAA in spite of limited spectrum resources. We will continue to work with NTT DOCOMO and contribute to global standardization efforts through these joint research efforts.”
Unlicensed spectrum is low-priced and does not require mobile operator to get a license from the governments or telecom operators in the case of licensed spectrum. Anyone is free to use the unlicensed spectrum as long as they follow the rules for operating in the band. However networks in unlicensed spectrum are unpredictable.
The technology is still in its experimental stage and the companies do not plan to commercialize the technology for the time being. Mark Newman, Chief Research Officer at research company Ovum mentioned that there won’t be much of a difference if LTE is used on Wi-Fi networks as users already use operators Wi-Fi in certain areas. Newman added that Wi-Fi networks are becoming closely integrated with mobile operators. DoCoMo stated that it expects to complete the research by 2015 end that will allow LAA and Wi-Fi to exist in the same spectrum.
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