MulteFire needs support from wireless, cable to stand out amongst LTE-U, LAA and Wi-Fi

MulteFire later this year will see the release of its first technical spec. The unlicensed technology, which allows for LTE-like deployments in the unlicensed 5 GHz band without the need for a licensed spectrum anchor channel, is the raison d'etre for the MulteFire Alliance, an industry group that is quickly recruiting member support from mobile operators like SoftBank and network vendors like Cisco.

But if the MulteFire Alliance and MulteFire itself is to find its footing in an already crowded field of similar technologies like LTE-U, LAA and even Wi-Fi, it will need to lure into its ranks cable operators, wireless providers and big-name tech companies.

"The [MulteFire] Alliance is now canvassing for additional members. It is expected the body will try to sign up as many device, infrastructure and telco service providers as possible," said ABI Research analyst Jake Saunders. "If they are able to sign up cable operators and Google, who have been staunch supporters of the Wi-Fi Alliance, that would be a significant indication that the MulteFire Alliance is making progress."

In the latest special report for FierceWirelessTech, we talked with Qualcomm and the MulteFire Alliance about the progress made on MulteFire since its late-2015 launch and what pieces need to fall in place for MulteFire to emerge as an important unlicensed technology in the push to leverage new spectrum bands.