Qualcomm is asking the FCC for permission to modify an experimental license in order to add two test sites to what’s already been authorized and add the licensed AWS frequency band for all locations as it tests pre-commercial LTE-U equipment.
Qualcomm is working with partners to develop equipment that will use multiple technologies, including 802.11 and LTE, in unlicensed 5 GHz frequency bands.
As part of their tests, Qualcomm, Verizon and their partners are conducting separate and independent LTE-U/Wi-Fi coexistence testing in a real-world environment at a Verizon facility using a coexistence test plan being developed by the Wi-Fi Alliance (WFA).
Qualcomm was granted permission to conduct the tests earlier this year but now it’s adding Verizon offices in the Texas towns of Southlake and Irving to its list of targets. The earlier approved tests included sites in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and Cary and Raleigh in North Carolina.
In its application, Qualcomm said the Wi-Fi Alliance would be invited to observe the tests. The Wi-Fi Alliance test plan initially will be used for joint coexistence testing to take place within a Wi-Fi Alliance certified lab. The WFA is due to release its coexistence test plan on Sept. 21. Both Verizon and Qualcomm have been vocal critics of the test plan.
Qualcomm’s application stated that its trial consists of up to 30 small cells and access points. Some equipment includes a 3GPP LTE base station that operates on 3GPP Band 2 or 3GPP Band 4, also known as the 1900 MHz PCS and AWS bands, respectively, in the U.S. The mobile units they plan to use are receive-only in the 5 GHz spectrum but also include an LTE transmitter that operates on 3GPP Band 2.
Verizon and Qualcomm have been working on LTE-U tests for quite some time. The LTE-U Forum was formed in 2014 by Verizon in cooperation with Qualcomm Technologies, Ericsson, Samsung and what was then Alcatel-Lucent, which is now part of Nokia. The forum said LTE-U extends the benefits of LTE and LTE Advanced to unlicensed spectrum, enabling mobile operators to offload data traffic onto unlicensed frequencies more efficiently and effectively.
Verizon isn’t the only operator looking to deploy LTE-U. T-Mobile also has expressed a desire to roll out the equipment. In May, Qualcomm was granted permission to continue LTE-U product development testing with T-Mobile US at several locations, including where T-Mobile is based in Bellevue, Washington.