Qualcomm introduces first LTE chips to take advantage of unlicensed 5GHz spectrum
Qualcomm has announced today that it plans to show off some new technology at MWC that will allow mobile phones to take advantage of unlicensed spectrum typically reserved for Wi-Fi.
The new technology, called LTE-Unlicensed (LTE-U), works by taking advantage of unlicensed spectrum on the 5GHz band instead of licensed and controlled spectrum — typically in lower frequencies — traditionally used by phones. One of the main concerns some may have with this technology is how it will affect current Wi-Fi networks that run on the 5GHz band. Qualcomm says:
The company also says that its LTE-U solutions, which include a new RF transciever and small cell SoC will allow users to take advantage of better performance than either LTE or Wi-Fi by themselves.
The company plans to show the technology off at Mobile World Congress next week, where it will hold demonstrations using its user test equipment. As far as availability, the company says that it expects LTE-U integrated SoCs to be available in the second half of 2015 — the question then will be how long before phone makers and carriers want to integrate it into their own plans.
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Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl.