LTE-U vs Wi-Fi: The Battle for 5 GHz

LTE-U vs Wi-Fi – The Battle for 5 GHz

The WCA Intrastructure SIG Presents
Tuesday, August 18, 2015

In 1997 the FCC made available spectrum in the 5 GHz band, known as the Unlicensed National Information Infrastructure or “U-NII”, for unlicensed use by wideband digital systems. For the most part, the only standards which have made use of these bands are in the 802.11 “Wi-Fi” family. However, this is about to change, and a battle for 5 GHz is looming…

Mobile telephone operators, seeking more spectrum to serve increasing demand for wireless data on portable devices, have begun looking at 5 GHz as an alternative to purchasing licensed spectrum via increasingly expensive auctions. Technologies such as LTE Unlicensed (LTE-U) and Licensed Assisted Access (LAA) will put LTE signals into the 5 GHz band. Modifications in 3GPP Release 13 will seek to help LTE co-exist in 5 GHz bands with 802.11 signals. At the same time, the rise of new mobile operator models known as “Wi-Fi First” and “Wi-Fi Only” will drive up demand for unlicensed spectrum. Roaming agreements between Wi-Fi network operators will allow Wi-Fi First and Wi-Fi Only subscribers to easily access 5 GHz networks, further placing pressure on this spectrum.

LTE proponents point out that LTE is more spectrally efficient than current 802.11 standards, and that existing law does not prevent LTE-U or LAA from operating in the 5 GHz band – Wi-Fi proponents cannot claim ownership despite nearly three decades of homesteading. Wi-Fi First proponents say that LTE-U/LAA is a “land grab” by operators, and point to testing that shows even modified LTE has a dramatically adverse effect on co-channeled Wi-Fi. The battleground is laid out, and forces are massing on both sides. Who will win? Who will lose? What will the 5 GHz band look like after all is said and done? Join us and learn from a panel of experts representing both sides of the conflict as they address these and other questions.

This event is co-sponsored by Mobile Experts LLC. Attendees will have an opportunity to win a copy of their report “Carrier and Public Wi-Fi 2015“.

–David Witkowski, Wireless Communications Alliance – Presentation

— Clint Brown, Bus. Dev Director, Mobility Wireless Connectivity, Broadcom – Presentation
— Amit Jain, VP of Marketing & Product Management, SpiderCloud Wireless – Presentation
— Kai Tang, Director of Technical Marketing, Qualcomm Research – Presentation
— Jack Unger, FCC Technical Consultant, WISPA – Presentation
— Vijay Sammeta, CIO, City of San Jose – Presentation

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