The Wi-Fi Alliance (WFA) on Wednesday delivered its long-awaited and controversial LTE-U Coexistence Test Plan to ensure spectrum is shared fairly between Wi-Fi Land LTE technologies in the unlicensed band.
“Delivering a cross-industry coexistence testing solution was an unprecedented and difficult task, and the outcome will help ensure the billions of people who rely on Wi-Fi every day will continue to benefit from the same great user experience they have enjoyed for more than 15 years,” Wi-Fi Alliance CEO Edgar Figueroa said in a statement.
The release of the plan follows a delay that pushed the roll out date back from an expected August date to late September. The delay sparked backlash from industry players like T-Mobile, which said Wi-Fi Alliance’s slowness in unveiling the plan was “stifling innovation.”
The plan itself has also proven to be controversial, eliciting pushback from both Qualcomm and Verizon – who said the plan is biased toward Wi-Fi – as well as support from Microsoft, HPE and Broadcomm, who acknowledge the test wasn’t perfect but urged WFA to continue its work without being swayed by the criticism.
Wi-Fi Alliance on Wednesday said it is not seeking any regulatory mandates for coexistence, but noted the plan is intended to be used as a whole by industry vendors.
“Coming to an industry-agreed solution required compromises from all sides,” WFA said in its release. “Therefore, the test plan is designed to be used as an unedited whole. Alternate test approaches, such as selectively omitting or modifying portions of the test plan would not have been acceptable in this cross-industry effort since those tactics will not provide assurances of fair coexistence.”
Wi-Fi Alliance said it is currently qualifying an independent test lab so coexistence testing can begin immediately.
Fellow Wi-Fi advocacy group WifiForward on Wednesday heralded the release and said it expects the FCC will begin granting device authorizations based on successful completion of coexistence testing.
Earlier this year, Qualcomm Vice President of Small Cells Neville Meijers told Wireless Week the company was working with Verizon to launch LTE-U technology on the carrier’s network sometime in the second half of 2016. T-Mobile also said it was hoping to launch the technology by year’s end, but it is unclear whether either of those plans will be carried out.
Filed Under: Telecommunications (Spectrum)