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Here's Why Google and Microsoft are Fighting Against Qualcomm and Verizon's New LTE Technology

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Verizon and Qualcomm want to use LTE-U to offload cellular data onto unlicensed airwaves, but Google and Microsoft think it'll hurt Wi-Fi connections.

Published in: Technology, Mobile
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Here's Why Google and Microsoft are Fighting Against Qualcomm and Verizon's New LTE Technology

  1. 1. Here’s Why Google and Microsoft Are Fighting Against Qualcomm and Verizon’s New LTE Technology
  2. 2. A new LTE technology Qualcomm, Verizon, and other wireless carriers are pursuing a new LTE technology called LTE Unlicensed, or LTE-U. The new tech allows LTE signals to use unlicensed airwaves that are typically reserved for things like garage door openers, wireless baby monitors, and Wi-Fi signals. Image Source: Qualcomm.
  3. 3. Better connections Verizon and Qualcomm want to tap into LTE-U because it will help offload some of the LTE signals from cellular networks, which should help improve data speeds.
  4. 4. “Unlicensed spectrum is going to be an important part of providing a better mobile broadband experience for our customers.” — David Young,Verizon’s vice president of public policy Source: Bloomberg.
  5. 5. The flip side Google, Microsoft, and other tech and cable companies aren’t exactly excited about LTE-U. They claim that the new technology can hijack the unlicensed airwaves for its own use, forcing Wi-Fi signals to sit and wait until the airwaves are free again. Image Source: Google.
  6. 6. “We are concerned that any technology that makes use of a licensed control channel will use that channel to give it priority access to the medium, and in this case degrade the performance of services delivered over Wi-Fi and other technologies that rely exclusively on unlicensed spectrum.” — Michael Daum, Microsoft’s technology policy strategist Source: Microsoft.
  7. 7. Conflicting data Qualcomm and Verizon say they have proof that LTE-U doesn’t interfere with Wi-Fi signals, while Microsoft and Google have data showing the exact opposite. Image Source: Qualcomm.
  8. 8. More testing needed Microsoft and Google are calling for more testing of LTE-U before it’s allowed to be implemented, and have started lobbying the Federal Communications Commission for a temporary block on LTE-U. But so far, the FCC has said that LTE-U is something that the tech and wireless companies need to figure out on their own.
  9. 9. “Folks, you’ve got to come together and resolve this in a broad-based standard.” — Tom Wheeler, FCC chairman
  10. 10. LTE-U’s future is up in the air The same organization that sets Wi-Fi standards, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (or IEEE), may ask Qualcomm and carriers to submit their technology for testing. But if all of the companies can’t come to a resolution, then the FCC may eventually get involved.
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