Qualcomm Claims First MulteFire Connection a Success

Posted by at 9:33 am on October 17, 2016

Qualcomm LogoQualcomm today said it made the world’s first over-the-air connection using MulteFire.

MulteFire is a new, more advanced version of LTE that uses a technology called listen-before-talk (LBT) to operate on unlicensed spectrum. MulteFire is based on the 3GPP Licensed Assisted Access standard.

The LBT technology within MulteFire is vital to ensure there’s little or no interference with other equipment that operates on unlicensed spectrum. Unlicensed spectrum is most often reserved for WiFi.

Qualcomm said its test proved that MulteFire can coexist fairly with WiFi in the 5 GHz channel. Companies that make cellular equipment want to bring LTE technology to unlicensed spectrum to help alleviate the pressure on existing licensed airwaves, which are operated by cellular networks. Companies that make WiFi equipment and sell WiFi-based services often claim competing technologies such as MulteFire will cause ruinous interference and threaten their businesses.

Both LTE and WiFi makers are attempting to find a balance in the use of unlicensed spectrum. MulteFire has the potential to strike that balance.

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