“The FCC is opening up the 5 GHz spectrum band to unlicensed LTE use in a move that will boost spectrum sharing and wireless broadband,” John Eggerton reports for MultiChannel News. “‘This is a significant advance in wireless innovation and a big win for wireless consumers,'” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.”

LTE-U allows wireless providers to deliver mobile data traffic using unlicensed spectrum while sharing the road, so to speak, with Wi-Fi. The excellent staff of the FCC’s Office of Engineering and Technology has certified that the LTE-U devices being approved today are in compliance with FCC rules. And voluntary industry testing has demonstrated that both these devices and Wi-Fi operations can co-exist in the 5 GHz band. This heralds a technical breakthrough in the many shared uses of this spectrum. — FCC Chairman Ajit Pai

“The FCC certified LTE-U equipment from Ericsson and Nokia, T-Mobile said, which means the carrier can start deploying the technology in its network, which it will start doing this spring. T-Mobile says tapping into 20 MHz of 5 GHz spectrum — the ‘U’ in LTE-U stands for unlicensed — will help it deliver gigabit LTE to more areas of the country,” Eggerton reports. “‘As demand for bandwidth continues to skyrocket, LTE-U will enable our customers to benefit from more data at faster speeds where they live work, live, and play. This is an example of yet another great innovation using unlicensed spectrum,’ [said Verizon SVP Will Johnson].”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We bet that Apple’s next-next-gen iPhone – 2018’s “iPhone 9” – will support LTE-U!