T-Mobile Promises LTE-U Services in the Spring

The move follows a lengthy review process by the FCC.

Dan Jones, Mobile Editor

February 22, 2017

1 Min Read
T-Mobile Promises LTE-U Services in the Spring

T-Mobile says it will start using unlicensed LTE on its network this spring now that the FCC has finally approved LTE-U equipment for use in the US.

The FCC has approved 5GHz LTE-Unlicensed (LTE-U) equipment from Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) and Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) for use on US networks. The government agency has been kicking the tires on the use of LTE-U since 2014. (See T-Mobile Sounds Off on Verizon 5G, LTE-U Frustrations and Operators, Vendors Advise FCC on LTE-U.)

T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray said recently that the operator will deploy 5GHz small cells to take advantage of 20MHz of unlicensed spectrum available. (See T-Mobile to Spend Up to $5.1B on LTE in 2017.)

One of the main concerns around LTE-U was that it would interfere with WiFi at 5GHz. T-Mobile insists -- in a statement -- that this won't be an issue:

  • LTE-U devices and equipment intelligently tap into and share underutilized unlicensed spectrum without affecting other users on the same band, including those using conventional Wi-Fi. LTE-U constantly seeks the least utilized channels to maximize efficiency and performance for everyone. As demand on the Wi-Fi network increases, LTE-U backs off and as Wi-Fi demand wanes, customers can tap into that unused capacity for LTE.

Expect Verizon Wireless to follow with its own LTE-U plans soon. Potential alt-operators like Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) might also take a look at 5GHz too. (See Google, LTE-U & the Question of a Wireless Broadband Future .)

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

About the Author(s)

Dan Jones

Mobile Editor

Dan is to hats what Will.I.Am is to ridiculous eyewear. Fedora, trilby, tam-o-shanter -- all have graced the Jones pate during his career as the go-to purveyor of mobile essentials.

But hey, Dan is so much more than 4G maps and state-of-the-art headgear. Before joining the Light Reading team in 2002 he was an award-winning cult hit on Broadway (with four 'Toni' awards, two 'Emma' gongs and a 'Brian' to his name) with his one-man show, "Dan Sings the Show Tunes."

His perfectly crafted blogs, falling under the "Jonestown" banner, have been compared to the works of Chekhov. But only by Dan.

He lives in Brooklyn with cats.

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