Qualcomm has added to the growing momentum behind Licence-Assisted Access (LAA) by claiming a world first over-the-air trial.
With the help of Deutsche Telekom, Qualcomm Technologies said it’s managed to achieve the aggregation of licensed and unlicensed spectrum bands and ensured the coexistence of LTE with wifi. Therefore, Qualcomm says LAA can extend network coverage and capacity, deliver enhanced networking speeds for users and deliver seamless mobility.
Qualcomm undertook the test in November at its lab in Germany, and claims that its success paves another step on the road to 5G, which it hopes can incorporate native support for unlicensed spectrum from the get-go. The test allegedly included various radio interference conditions to test its reliability and stability.
“This trial is an important milestone demonstrating how global LAA technology will soon provide enhanced consumer benefits to users in Europe,” said Matt Grob, CTO at Qualcomm Technologies. “We are pleased to collaborate with Deutsche Telekom on testing and demonstrating technologies that will enhance mobile broadband.”
LAA is looking like a make-peace solution for operators looking into LTE-U as an option for extending coverage by utilising a lot of the potential which exists in 5GHz bands. Despite garnering support from multiple corners of the industry, LTE-U became a contentious issue last year when the Wi-Fi Alliance requested the FCC imposed stringent coexistence regulations and give it the power to impose significant requirements on vendors and manufacturers looking to advance LTE-U developments.
Subsequently, a number of LTE-U proponents from the North American telecoms sector formed a working group, Evolve, to further the development and efficiency of LTE-U and LAA technologies regardless. Shortly after, the Wi-Fi Alliance established the coexistence testing workshop in a bid to defuse tensions between all parties and further the common cause.
Since then, LAA has taken off and features as part of the LTE-Advanced Pro 3GPP Release 13 coming in the first half of 2016.