WCA Events

WCA Infrastructure SIG presents: LTE-U vs Wi-Fi - The Battle for 5 GHz

August 18th 2015, 6:00pm - 8:30pm (Check-in begins at 6pm, Event starts at 7pm)
Venue: Qualcomm, 3165 Kifer Rd., Santa Clara, CA
Cost: $20 through Aug 9th, $30 afterwards. Light meals, drinks, and refreshments will be provided.

In 1997 the FCC made available spectrum in the 5 GHz band, known as the Unlicensed National Information Infrastructure or "U-NII", for unlicensed use by wideband digital systems. For the most part, the only standards which have made use of these bands are in the 802.11 "Wi-Fi" family. However, this is about to change, and a battle for 5 GHz is looming...

Mobile telephone operators, seeking more spectrum to serve increasing demand for wireless data on portable devices, have begun looking at 5 GHz as an alternative to purchasing licensed spectrum via increasingly expensive auctions. Technologies such as LTE Unlicensed (LTE-U) and Licensed Assisted Access (LAA) will put LTE signals into the 5 GHz band. Modifications in 3GPP Release 13 will seek to help LTE co-exist in 5 GHz bands with 802.11 signals. At the same time, the rise of new mobile operator models known as "Wi-Fi First" and "Wi-Fi Only" will drive up demand for unlicensed spectrum. Roaming agreements between Wi-Fi network operators will allow Wi-Fi First and Wi-Fi Only subscribers to easily access 5 GHz networks, further placing pressure on this spectrum.

LTE proponents point out that LTE is more spectrally efficient than current 802.11 standards, and that existing law does not prevent LTE-U or LAA from operating in the 5 GHz band - Wi-Fi proponents cannot claim ownership despite nearly three decades of homesteading. Wi-Fi First proponents say that LTE-U/LAA is a "land grab" by operators, and point to testing that shows even modified LTE has a dramatically adverse effect on co-channeled Wi-Fi. The battleground is laid out, and forces are massing on both sides. Who will win? Who will lose? What will the 5 GHz band look like after all is said and done? Join us and learn from a panel of experts representing both sides of the conflict as they address these and other questions.

Register now to attend this event. Light meals and refreshments will be provided.

-- David Witkowski, Wireless Communications Alliance

-- Francesco Radicati, Senior Analyst, Informa
-- Clint Brown, Bus. Dev Director, Mobility Wireless Connectivity, Broadcom
-- Amit Jain, VP of Marketing & Product Management, SpiderCloud Wireless
-- Kai Tang, Director of Technical Marketing, Qualcomm Research

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About The WCA

Founded in 1993, the Wireless Communications Alliance (aka "WCA") is a Silicon Valley-based, all-volunteer, non-profit corporation dedicated to providing opportunities for education, connection, and community in the wireless industry. The WCA accomplishes these goals by hosting seminars/panels; providing networking opportunities; encouraging and supporting start-ups and entrepreneurs; and helping to build and maintain bridges between business and academia. Supporting academia and technical education is a primary goal of the WCA. Located in the San Francisco Bay Area, the WCA is near several world-class universities, colleges, and think tanks. Despite the meteoric rise in mobile technology, research has shown that only 5% of incoming college freshmen identify wireless as a career goal. To help ensure a strong talent pool in the coming decade the WCA invites college students to attend our events at no charge in the hopes that exposure to the wireless industry will encourage the them to shift their major and course focus towards wireless.