SOURCE: 4G Americas

4G Americas

November 02, 2015 12:17 ET

Unlicensed Spectrum Offers New Connectivity Solutions for Mobile Broadband Industry Ecosystem

4G Americas Report Explains Innovative Spectrum Aggregation Methods

BELLEVUE, WA--(Marketwired - November 02, 2015) - 4G Americas, the industry trade association and voice of 5G for the Americas, today published a new white paper titled, LTE Aggregation and Unlicensed Spectrum, which examines data offloading from licensed LTE networks to unlicensed spectrum. Recent work by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) on offloading to the Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) via LTE and WiFi Aggregation, as well as using LTE directly in unlicensed spectrum, are specifically discussed in the paper.

"The wireless data connectivity demands of consumers and enterprise for the mobile broadband industry have led to innovative solutions for spectrum aggregation," stated Chris Pearson, President of 4G Americas. "With limited amounts of exclusive use licensed spectrum, the aggregation options have progressed to include both licensed and unlicensed spectrum to meet societies' growing connectivity needs."

The educational white paper explains in detail the recent methods developed within standardization bodies and the industry for data offloading to unlicensed spectrum such as:

  • LTE-WLAN Aggregation (LWA): A new alternative for LTE and WLAN interworking is data aggregation at the radio access network, where an Evolved NodeB (eNB) schedules packets to be served on LTE and WiFi radio links. This is similar to the carrier aggregation and dual connectivity features defined in 3GPP Release 10 and Release 12. The advantage of this solution is that it can provide better control and utilization of resources on both links. This can increase the aggregate throughput for all users and improve the total system capacity by better managing the radio resources among users.
  • License Assisted Access (LAA): Another alternative for using unlicensed spectrum to complement mobile networks is the deployment of LTE itself in unlicensed spectrum. LTE has been successfully deployed in providing wireless broadband data and its usage in both licensed and unlicensed spectrum can enable operators and vendors to leverage the existing or planned investments in LTE/Evolved Packet Core (EPC) hardware at both the radio and core network and simplify User Equipment (UE) architecture.
  • LTE Unlicensed (LTE-U): Another effort in expanding the usage of LTE to unlicensed spectrum. The LTE-U Forum has published specifications and studies for minimum base station and UE requirements and co-existence with WiFi.
  • Others: In the industry, other options for multi-connectivity/aggregation occurring at the network level such as Multipath Transmission Control Protocol (MP-TCP) and QuickUser Datagram Protocol Internet Connections (QUIC) are also emerging.

"4G Americas believes that identifying and auctioning exclusive use licensed spectrum should be a priority for countries throughout the Americas region. However, licensed, shared and unlicensed spectrum will all need to be efficiently utilized," added Pearson. "The option of smartly integrating unlicensed spectrum provides a possible solution for a seamless and spectrally proficient method of offloading while using the same core radio technology across both licensed and unlicensed spectrum."

The white paper, LTE Aggregation and Unlicensed Spectrum, written collaboratively by members of 4G Americas, is available for free download at

About 4G Americas: Unifying the Americas Through Mobile Broadband Technology

4G Americas is an industry trade organization composed of leading telecommunications service providers and manufacturers. The organization's mission is to advocate for and foster the advancement and full capabilities of the LTE mobile broadband technology and its evolution beyond to 5G, throughout the ecosystem's networks, services, applications and wirelessly connected devices in the Americas. 4G Americas, the voice of 5G for the Americas, is invested in leading 5G development for the Americas and maintaining the current global innovation lead in North America with LTE technology. 4G Americas is headquartered in Bellevue, Wash. More information is available at Follow our news on Twitter at @4GAmericas and Facebook at

4G Americas' Board of Governors members include: Alcatel-Lucent, América Móvil, AT&T, Cable & Wireless, Cisco, CommScope, Entel, Ericsson, HP, Intel, Mitel, Nokia, Qualcomm, Sprint, T-Mobile US, Inc. and Telefónica.

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