Press Briefing: The Impact of LTE-U on Consumers Use of Wi-Fi

Everyone loves Wi-Fi. We use it for everything, in our homes, schools, work, and in public spaces. One of the main reasons it’s so widespread and powerful is that it uses airwaves that are open to everyone, from households to community anchor institutions to tomorrow’s great entrepreneur. In the 20 years since the FCC first authorized unlicensed uses of spectrum, use of Wi-Fi and other technologies that rely on unlicensed spectrum (ZigBee, Bluetooth, WirelessHART, etc) has exploded, adding billions of dollars to the U.S. economy. According to Cisco, about 50% of Internet traffic worldwide relies on Wi-Fi. 

In recent months, Qualcomm, Ericsson, Huawei, China Mobile, T-Mobile, Verizon and others have expressed increasing interest in deployment of LTE-U.  As currently being developed, LTE-U relies on a combination of licensed and unlicensed frequencies. As presently proposed, many experts believe this prestandard LTE-U operation will not coexist well with existing technologies like Wi-Fi in spectrum bands in which it is deployed. These issues are being discussed in the existing standards bodies, and the FCC recently issued a Public Notice to study the issue. However, there are concerns some operators will deploy LTE-U technology before the standards processes are finished. This could have negative consequences for Wi-Fi and other unlicensed technologies.

Today's press briefing included statements from: 

  • Larra Clark, Deputy Director, Office for Information Technology Policy, American Library Association 
  • Harold Feld, Senior Vice President, Public Knowledge 
  • Dave Wright, Advanced Technologist, Ruckus Wireless 

Press Contact:

Ellen Satterwhite

Phone: 719-963-2722