Unlicensed LTE: A Threat or an Opportunity for MNOs?
2015.11.19   |   8 pages   |   NextGen Strategy Reports

Author:
Pippa Walton


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More spectrum is needed to meet increasing demands for wireless broadband.  There have been two ways of meeting this demand, by seeking more licensed spectrum, and by off-loading traffic onto Wi-Fi.  A new approach now emerging is to use unlicensed spectrum to carry LTE traffic.  Some operators are experimenting with this, particularly in the USA, but the approach has caused concern amongst Wi-Fi proponents, who claim that LTE in unlicensed spectrum will cause interference to Wi-Fi services, and that it is anti-competitive for licensed operators to also operate in unlicensed bands.  In turn, MNOs are wary that the development of unlicensed LTE will provide opportunities to other service providers such as Republic First and Comcast to become increasingly like mobile operators and disrupt the competitive landscape to their disadvantage. 

 

Companies: Qualcomm, Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T, Korea Telecom

Keywords: LTE-U, Unlicensed spectrum, 5GHz, 3GPP, FCC, MuLTEfire, LBT, 5G, Wi-Fi Alliance, LTE services, i Wi-Fi, LAA, LWA, carrier aggregation,

 

Unlicensed LTE: A Threat or an Opportunity for MNOs?

1

 

Inferences and implications for Mobile Operators

1

 

Inference Dashboard

1

1

Supporting Research & Analysis

2

1.1

Context

2

1.2

Analysis

3

1.2.1

Unlicensed LTE  - Providing Improved Data Services

3

1.2.2

Unlicensed LTE – The Debate

3

1.2.3

Alternatives to Unlicensed LTE: LWA and MuLTEfire

4

1.2.3.1

LWA

4

1.2.3.2

MuLTEfire

5

1.3

Research

5

1..3.1

Background

5

1.3.2

LTE-U and LAA

6

1.3.2.1

Carrier Aggregation

6

1.3.2.2

LTE-U

6

1.3.2.3

LTE Assisted Access (LAA)

7

1.3.3

MuLTEfire

8

1.3.4

LTE-Wi-Fi Link Aggregation (LWA)

8

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Mobile Market Development 2015