Industry Invited to Comment on LTE-Unlicensed Technology

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The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Office of Engineering and Technology and Wireless Telecommunications Bureau recently released a Public Notice seeking information on current trends in LTE-Unlicensed (LTE-U) and Licensed Assisted Access (LAA). Parties within the wireless industry are developing LTE-U, a commercial wireless LTE technology intended for operations in certain unlicensed frequency bands. LTE-U could operate in conjunction with licensed commercial wireless services using LAA whereby a channel in an operator’s licensed spectrum is used as the primary channel for devices operating on an unlicensed basis. A number of organizations have approached the FCC about the development of LTE-U and LAA in the context of the 3.5 GHz and 5 GHz proceedings, which would make spectrum available for general access and unlicensed use, respectively. Some have expressed concern that LTE-U and LAA operations may have a detrimental impact on existing and future use of unlicensed or shared spectrum. Others have asserted that LTE-U and LAA are more efficient than other currently available unlicensed technologies, and that they include features to share the spectrum fairly with no detrimental impact on existing users of the spectrum, and that consumers will ultimately benefit from increased access to spectrum. Interested parties may file comments on or before June 11, 2015, and reply comments on or
before June 26, 2015.

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