LTE-U’s & Wi-Fi Coexistence Becomes Primary Concern for the Wi-Fi Industry - ABI Research

10 July 2015
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LTE-U’s & Wi-Fi Coexistence Becomes Primary Concern for the Wi-Fi Industry - ABI Research Image Credit: ABI Research

Although LTE-Unlicenced (LTE-U) provides clear advantages for mobile operators, operating in the unlicensed 5 GHz band spectrum, the LTE-U’s coexistence with Wi-Fi has become a primary concern for the Wi-Fi industry which anticipates disruption on both the technical and business levels, according to ABI Research’s Carrier Wi-Fi market research. The LTE-U technology also promises better spectrum efficiency with better data rates and QoS to help Operators to expand network capacity without having to integrate another network, like Wi-Fi, within the cellular core. 

ABI Research said that unlike Wi-Fi, LTE-U, as a propriety solution, does not sense the channel activity before transmitting. Instead, it applies a form of time sharing using periodic time slots. Such scheduled transmission of LTE-U not only adds interference and increases collisions for Wi-Fi’s opportunistic transmission, but also defies the concept of fair sharing as it seizes complete control over the channel and Wi-Fi’s transmission window.

Ahmed Ali, Research Analyst, ABI Research
But will this significantly affect the average mobile user preferences? Operators should make a compelling value proposition in order to compete with mostly free uncapped Wi-Fi service. LTE-U small cells in the enterprise still face the same challenges of site permission and the lack of neutral-host support. Concerns of possible interference with Wi-Fi make it even a harder sell. In addition to ensuring minimum impact on Wi-Fi operation, operators need to win enterprise community over with a true problem-solving solution.

Ray is a news editor at The Fast Mode, bringing with him more than 10 years of experience in the wireless industry.

For tips and feedback, email Ray at ray.sharma(at)thefastmode.com, or reach him on LinkedIn @raysharma10, Facebook @1RaySharma

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