Major U.S. wireless carrier Verizon earlier this month added its voice to a growing chorus of discontent surrounding the Wi-Fi Alliance’s new LTE-U coexistence test plan, calling the most recent iteration “fundamentally unfair and biased.”
In a filing with the FCC, Verizon echoed concerns from Qualcomm that the test includes “technical deficiencies” that bias it against LTE-U.
“The current draft plan is not an ‘extraordinary compromise,’ as some have recently suggested,” Verizon wrote. “First, the plan includes an in-device coexistence test that has nothing to do with spectrum sharing. Second, it proposes an unrealistic and inaccurate Wi-Fi interference baseline not based on a single vendor rather than on multiple vendors. Finally, it proposes a -82 dBm energy detection threshold based on uncalibrated RSSI measurements, which is not based on sound engineering practices.”
Verizon’s comments echoed similar statements from Qualcomm, which dubbed the new version of the test plan “unacceptable” and said it “lacks technical merit.” Qualcomm previously asked the FCC to “disregard this latest version of the plan, particularly because the watchword for unlicensed spectrum is supposed to be permission-less innovation, not incumbent protection.”
Verizon and Qualcomm’s pushback comes in contrast to comments from Comcast, which called the latest version of the test plan an “extraordinary compromise.”
In a subsequent filing with the FCC, the Wi-Fi Alliance said it is basing its development of the test plan “on the broadly agreed definition of ‘fairness’ established at the outset of this process, and we plan to continue to use that definition.”
The tug-of-war comes ahead of the scheduled release of the finalized test plan late next month, which would allow carriers to test devices and equipment for LTE-U certification with the FCC.
The standards release, however, has previously been delayed, much to the frustration of U.S. wireless carriers looking to deploy LTE-U technology on their networks.
A frustrated T-Mobile recently asked the FCC to move ahead with LTE-U certifications in September whether or not the test plan is released on time.
T-Mobile said there “is no reason” to wait beyond September if the Wi-Fi Alliance fails to release the finalized test protocol, noting the draft test plan is already “fundamentally complete” and could be used to test LTE-U devices for approval.
T-Mobile is one of two wireless carriers – the other being Verizon – that were aiming for the commercial deployment of LTE-U technology before the end of 2016. Both carriers teamed up with Qualcomm earlier this year on LTE-U testing.
According to a recent report from ABI Research, the proliferation of unlicensed LTE technologies is expected to drive the indoor small cell market to reach revenues of $1.8 billion by 2021.
Filed Under: Industry regulations