April 8, 2015 — Looks like the 5 GHz band is seeing some movement now. T-Mobile has confirmed that it will be using License Assisted Access (LAA) on the 5 GHz spectrum, as early as 2016. Unlicensed LTE is emerging as a promising technology that is complementary to Wi-Fi and compatible with VoLTE.
As the 5 GHz band starts to see more deployments, it is very likely that many of the emerging unlicensed technologies will find a home at this frequency.
“Unlicensed LTE is emerging as a promising technology and it is complementary to Wi-Fi and compatible with VoLTE,” the company said in an emailed statement. “This new form of LTE, once matured, will enable utilization of the 5 GHz unlicensed bands.
Anecdotally, It’s worth mentioning that the aspiration to use LTE in the unlicensed 5 GHz band is backed by some of the industry’s biggest vendors. This segment has developed on a faster pace than is typical for new technologies, which bodes well for that piece of the spectrum.
Ernest Worthman is the editor of Small Cell Magazine. Email Me