LTE-U lets carriers boost coverage by using the 5GHz band commonly used by Wi-Fi devices. This will let cell networks boost data speeds over short distances without requiring the use of a separate Wi-Fi network.
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai issued the following statement today
on the agency’s first authorization of LTE-U devices:
“Today, the Commission announced authorization of the first-ever LTE-U (LTE for unlicensed) devices in the 5 GHz band. This is a significant advance in wireless innovation and a big win for
“LTE-U allows wireless providers to deliver mobile data traffic using unlicensed spectrum while
sharing the road, so to speak, with Wi-Fi. The excellent staff of the FCC’s Office of Engineering
and Technology has certified that the LTE-U devices being approved today are in compliance
with FCC rules. And voluntary industry testing has demonstrated that both these devices and Wi-Fi operations can co-exist in the 5 GHz band. This heralds a technical breakthrough in the many shared uses of this spectrum.
“This is a great deal for wireless consumers, too. It means they get to enjoy the best of both worlds: a more robust, seamless experience when their devices are using cellular networks and the continued enjoyment of Wi-Fi, one of the most creative uses of spectrum in history. "
No word yet on whether Apple plans to support the technology in this year's new iPhone. Please follow iClarified on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or RSS for updates.