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First LTE-U Devices Get Approved by the FCC

25 February 2017

T-Mobile had started testing LTE-U equipment as part of early field trials in December 2016. LTE-U constantly seeks the least utilized channels to maximize efficiency and performance for everyone.

LTE-U is so called because it refers to a spectrum that is now unlicensed.

"LTE-U will make it possible for T-Mobile to bring its forthcoming Gigabit LTE to more places across the country". Thanks to LTE-U technology, T-Mobile customers will be able to take advantage of "underutilized unlicensed spectrum" on the 5GHz band.

LTE-U, sometimes called LTE-License Assisted Access (LTE-LAA), uses the 5GHz spectrum to provide more capacity. TMUS, -0.19%, said on Wednesday that they would launch LTE-U network capabilities and devices in the spring. "T-Mobile's built a track record of introducing new innovations first, including deploying more LTE Advanced technologies than anyone in the US".

According to TC, basically, the idea behind LTE-U is that there are few frequencies in the 5GHz band that is used by Wi-Fi routers were definitely going to be unused.

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The 5GHz band is now used for WiFi, and there had been concerns that there would be conflicts between the two, but the FCC accepted that equipment manufacturers had demonstrated that LTE and WiFi could co-exist in the same spectrum ... While this move does not support any handsets on the market right now in their current form, future phones will be certified to draw LTE signal from 5 gigahertz spectrum that is currently unused in the area. Even though the new testing is voluntary rather than required by the FCC, the Wi-Fi Alliance declared that it is satisfied with the result.

Other hardware manufacturers, including Ericsson, Nokia and Qualcomm are already in the race to fill the gap between LTE and 5G. "That's why T-Mobile customers are the most satisfied in USA wireless!".

"Ericsson welcomes the FCC's approval of LTE-U", commented Glenn Laxdal, Head of Network Products, Ericsson North America. Naturally, the new LTE-U technology will require LTE-U capable devices as well.

There's no telling when iPhones will support the LTE-U band.

First LTE-U Devices Get Approved by the FCC