3 Companies That Have The Hots For LTE On The Wi-Fi Spectrum
In the search to discover solutions for improving coverage and cellular speeds, T-Mobile US Inc (NYSE:TMUS) and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) in the U.S. and SK Telecom Co Ltd (ADR) (NYSE:SKM) of South Korea, are planning the use of LTE over 5GHz.
LTE is predominantly used by Wi-Fi networks and it is generally used in frequency bands, like other mobile phone technologies. However, even for LTE, network operators must obtain a license for cellular usage whereas Wi-Fi operates in unlicensed frequency bands. For Wi-Fi, the use of such frequency bands is free as long as the operators follow the rules for operating in the band.
T-Mobile US Inc (NYSE:TMUS) is openly discussing its support for the LTE technology. Neville Ray, T-Mobile CTO, recently wrote in a blog post that LTE on Wi-Fi increases average data speeds to smartphones with reduced packet latencies.
Telecommunications equipment vendor Ericsson (ADR) (NASDAQ:ERIC) recently announced that the operators took part in tests conducted in Canada and Sweden, which demonstrated speeds of 450Mbps while working well with Wi-Fi devices at the same time. The company also acknowledged that the technology is still in its nascent stage and hasn’t been standardized.
For LTE to work, both smartphones and networks have to be upgraded. Hence the demonstrations were conducted by Ericsson in collaboration with QUALCOMM, Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM), who enjoys remarkable market share in the smartphone chip business.
LAA, or License Assisted Access, is technology that allows LTE to operate in the 5GHz unlicensed band, offering a solution to use both types of spectrum together to deliver improved data speeds. LAA is likely to be the best infrastructure innovation at the Mobile World Congress going to be held next month in Barcelona. Ericsson and Qualcomm plan to demonstrate the technology at the show, with the intent to testify how LTE and Wi-Fi work well together.
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