Wi-Fi Alliance stresses need for collaboration in LTE-U standards process

It's crucial that LTE-Unlicensed be properly standardized so that it does not interfere with Wi-Fi, a Wi-Fi Alliance executive told Total Telecom last week.

"Nobody wants to be the people who killed Wi-Fi," said Kelly Davis-Felner, vice president of marketing at the Wi-Fi Alliance. "Nobody wants to be the people who couldn't figure out how to share."

"Co-existence is paramount," Davis-Felner told Total Telecom. If it is not implemented correctly, LTE-U could be "brand-damaging" to every player in the mobile and Wi-Fi ecosystems, she said. 

The FCC, which doesn't usually get involved in standards processes, opened a Notice of Inquiry earlier this month to gather input from the industry on the impact of LTE-U on other users of unlicensed spectrum.

"Three years from now it will be something we look back on and say, 'that turned out alright,'" Davis-Felner told the publication. "But it is definitely on our mind as very hot topic in our industry."

Earlier this month, the chairman of the IEEE 802 LAN/MAN Standards Committee, Paul Nikolich, sent a letter to 3GPP thanking its leadership for recent liaisons on coexistence between 802.11 and LAA. The letter also said IEEE 802 still has concerns relating to which aspects should be included in simulation studies of the co-existence of LAA with 802.11, and it proposes expanded collaboration with 3GPP. Future topics for discussion include working definitions of "fair" coexistence.

Elsewhere, others with strong business interests in Wi-Fi continue to study the impact of LAA in unlicensed spectrum. CableLabs, for one, has asked the FCC for a 24-month experimental license to use Clearwire's 2.5 GHz spectrum to test how LTE-U and LAA co-exist with Wi-Fi networks. It already has the blessing of spectrum owner Sprint (NYSE: S), so it is hopeful the FCC will grant the request.

For more:
- see this Total Telecom article
- see this IEEE letter (PDF)

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