LTE-Unlicensed Spectrum Group Forms

WASHINGTON—‘Evolve’ is the name taken on by a newly formed coalition of wireless carrier groups advocating for development of unlicensed LTE technology, or LTE-U, also known as “LAA,” or “Licensed Assisted Access.”

“LTE-U and LAA are new technologies that will substantially increase data speeds and improve coverage for millions of Americans, ” the organization said. Founding members include Competitive Carriers Association, CTIA – The Wireless Association, Alcatel-Lucent, AT&T, Qualcomm Inc., T-Mobile, and Verizon. “The Evolve coalition believes regulators should reject calls to pre-emptively interfere with new technologies like LTE-U and LAA that enhance utilization of unlicensed spectrum. ”

Those calls have come from circles fearing that LTE-U would ride roughshod over Wi-Fi in the 5 GHz band, where both would have to co-exist. Hence the upgrade to LAA, according to Computer World.

Evolve responded that carriers were mindful of the public attachment to Wi-Fi.

“Like all American consumers, Evolve members support Wi-Fi and understand the important role it plays in meeting consumers’ broadband demands. LTE-U and LAA were designed from the ground-up to operate cooperatively with Wi-Fi and other signals. In fact, when tested together, Wi-Fi performed the same or even better with LTE-U than Wi-Fi does alone. ”