Samsung and Qualcomm announce LTE-U small cell collaboration

Electronics giant Samsung has announced it is collaborating with mobile chip leader Qualcomm to develop small cells designed to boost LTE via unlicensed spectrum (LTE-U).

Qualcomm has long been a champion of LTE-U, which uses unlicensed spectrum bands, including those currently used by wifi, to augment the LTE signal. This has become a contentious issue, especially in the US, where a number of interested parties have expressed concerns about wifi signals being degraded by this technology.

The main product of the partnership is the Samsung LTE-U eFemto cell, which incorporates a Qualcomm FSM9955 chipset. A key piece of technology in this small cell is enhanced Carrier Sensing Adaptive Transmission (eCSAT), which is designed to address this wifi interference issue.

“We are pleased to collaborate with industry leader Samsung in accelerating small cell innovations and extending the benefits of LTE to unlicensed spectrum,” said Neville Meijers, biz dev VP at Qualcomm. “Making adequate use of both licensed and unlicensed spectrum bands is essential to meet data demand and provide end users with the best possible mobile experience.”

“We are proud to bring this innovative LTE-U technology into our small cell portfolio,” said Kiho Cho, VP of the network system design lab at Samsung Electronics. “Operators and enterprises need a combination of cutting-edge technology and affordability to meet the explosive demand for data, both today with 4G and beyond. Samsung LTE-U eFemto cells will benefit end users by enabling faster data communications, with seamless mobility and reliable performance, while minimizing interference with wifi.”

In other pre-MWC news Qualcomm also announced the addition of three new ODM partners – Borqs, Compal and Infomark – to make reference designs based on its Snapdragon Wear platform. Additionally Qualcomm revealed it is the hardware partner for Tencent’s WeChat mobile payments services and it launched the next generation of its RF360 front-end radio solutions, including the world’s first announced 40MHz enveloper tracker.

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