Cellular and Wi-Fi clash in air war: Page 4 of 4

August 11, 2016 //By Rick Merritt
The tug-of-war between cellular and Wi-Fi over unlicensed spectrum is close to a breaking point at the Wi-Fi Alliance (WFA). Qualcomm claims the LTE-U co-existence tests the group is about to ratify are unfair and could restrict or even prevent from coming to market products using the 4G protocol for 5 GHz spectrum.

If the company is successful, competitors fear they will owe Qualcomm significant royalties for both next-generation cellular and Wi-Fi products. They recall the relatively steep royalties Qualcomm charged when it dominated the market for 2G with its CDMA technology.

In an effort to calm such concerns Qualcomm’s Brenner said, “Wi-Fi has a long bright future.”

Market watcher Will Strauss of Forward Concepts (Mesa, Ariz.) notes that LTE-U is “one of the cobblestones on the road to 5G, incorporating and binding together channels for Wi-Fi and traditional LTE,” to deliver better throughput, range and mobility for users.

Strauss notes that 5G is expected to use small base stations in urban settings to deliver new levels of bandwidth, probably in unlicensed bands including 60 GHz. “All the children will have to learn to play fair,” he said.

Rick Merritt, Silicon Valley Bureau Chief, EE Times

 

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