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AT&T Adding LTE-LAA to Three Markets, Promises 24 by Year’s End

And how do these cell companies prevent interference to the little guys using unlicensed spectrum in the vicinity?

DALLAS — The big cellular companies are now making use of LTE-LAA. It’s been a while since we looked at just what that means, so let’s review some, with the help of Qualcomm.

“Licensed Assisted Access (LAA) is introduced in 3GPP release 13 as part of LTE Advanced Pro. It uses carrier aggregation in the downlink to combine LTE in unlicensed spectrum (5 GHz) with LTE in the licensed band. This aggregation of spectrum provides for a fatter pipe with faster data rates and more responsive user experience. For example, a mobile operator using LAA can support Gigabit Class LTE with as little as 20 MHz of licensed spectrum. By maintaining a persistent anchor in the license spectrum that carries all of the control and signaling information, the user experience is both seamless and reliable.”

So just how do these big cell companies prevent interference to the little guys (like you and me) using unlicensed spectrum in the vicinity? 

“Fair Wi-Fi coexistence is a key principle in LAA. This is accomplished by dynamically selecting clear channels in 5 GHz to avoid Wi-Fi users. If there is no clear channel available, LAA will share a channel fairly with others. This is accomplished by a feature called Listen Before Talk (LBT). LBT will be used by all technologies in unlicensed spectrum to ensure fair coexistence globally.”