As cable operators across the country build out their public Wi-Fi networks, one executive is hinting that the next stage of that strategy could involve unlicensed LTE technology. "Take the LTE technology that is used in cell phones today for offering 4G services, then run it in the unlicensed spectrum. LTE is designed for ubiquitous coverage--good system speeds over wide areas, so I can do hand-offs," Phil McKinney, president and CEO of CableLabs, told FierceCable Editor Daniel Frankel during the recent CES show in Las Vegas.
McKinney acknowledged that unlicensed LTE technology is several years in the future, but his comments are notable in light of recent announcements from T-Mobile US and Ericsson, which are planning to test "License Assisted Access" technology in the 5 GHz band sometime this year. That technology too would put LTE transmissions in unlicensed spectrum.
For more on McKinney's comments on public Wi-Fi networks and unlicensed LTE, check out this FierceCable Hot Seat.