However, an industry fight has been set off by the plan to bring LTE to unlicensed Wi-Fi spectrum. If not for the controversy over potential interference, T-Mobile likely would have deployed LTE-U much earlier. Just keep in mind that you'll need a device that supports this feature to take advantage of the improvements that it offers.
The Federal Communications Commission today authorized the first LTE-U (LTE for unlicensed spectrum) devices after a controversial process created to ensure that cellular network use of the 5GHz band won't interfere with Wi-Fi networks. T-Mobile said it will use LTE-U to tap into 20 MHz of "underutilized" unlicensed spectrum on the 5 GHz band and use it to provide additional LTE capacity for its customers.
T-Mobile plans to make the new network capabilities available this spring.
The Federal Communications Commission said it would open up currently-unlicensed airwaves for use by new 4G LTE wireless devices known as LTE-U (for "unlicensed").
Rockets fleece Lakers in Lou Williams trade
This deal doesn't shift the landscape in the Western Conference, or help the Rockets match up differently with Golden State. When Harden sits, the offensive rating for the Rockets drops to 105, a good mark for some teams but paltry for Houston.
The LTE-U devices have been approved after FCC staff has certified that they are in compliance with FCC rules.
"T-Mobile already has more capacity per subscriber than AT&T and Verizon, and the addition of LTE-U will only extend that lead and further improve the Un-carrier's blazing-fast speeds", it said. These devices and Wi-Fi operations can co-exist in the 5GHz band, as has been demonstrated by voluntary industry testing.
Wireless carriers have been clamoring about LTE-U for quite some time, and for good reason. Even though the new testing is voluntary rather than required by the FCC, the Wi-Fi Alliance declared that it is satisfied with the result. "This is an example of yet another great innovation using unlicensed spectrum". For that, it has the support of the likes of Nokia, Ericsson, and Qualcomm, who have similarly been pushing for LTE-U approval. "The use of this technology will bring an even better customer experience while using LTE", stated Ericsson North America's Glenn Laxdal, Head of Network Products.
In particular, the fight has pitted cable companies - whose customers rely on Wi-Fi routers to connect to the internet - against cellular carriers whose users are consuming an ever growing amount of mobile data.