U.S. spectrumWhen Michael Marcus and others at the FCC created the "unlicensed bands," they had little idea about how it would go. Wi-Fi has been a major game changer but that wasn't clear at the beginning. It's yet one more example of what creativity makes possible. Today, we see some congestion in the "commons," as well as proposals to squat on a large share. We need some "rules of the road" to manage the congestion fairly and efficiently. But they need careful design to have minimal impact on innovation. 

Fred Goldstein reminds me that the band is used for more than Wi-Fi.

As we develop rules, we have to consider these interests as well. 

There are other users of the unlicensed bands, though, of which WISPs are the most visible, though public safety and private systems are also quite common.  These are basically unlicensed microwave, not WiFi, even if they are based on WiFi chipsets using variant protocols.  These are used in both point-to-point and point-to-multipoint modes. Your typical WISP has a PtP backhaul radio feeding PtMP access points that are shared among 10-40 subscribers, who can be up to 10 miles away. WiFi arbitration doesn't work over such distances. Vendors thus create proprietary arbitration schemes, like Ubiquiti's airMax and MikroTik's Nstreme.  Some also use GPS synchronization so that multiple radios on a site (e.g., sectors and backhauls) transmit and receive at the same time, to avoid mutual interference, and to control end to end latency.
These systems use directional antennas, often with high forward gain, at both ends, which both maximizes range and minimizes interactions in other directions.  So they rarely conflict with actual WiFi systems. LAA, like Cable WiFi, would just add to the background din that potentially impairs their performance. 
Many problems to solve and we need the best ideas.


Often interesting

Latest issue

 Gig LTE & Massive MIMO ushering in the Age of Wireless Abundance

Wireless Abundance is here: What the new tech means http://bit.ly/Wirelessabundance
Sprint & T-Mobile Charge to be 1st in U.S. to Gig LTE bit.ly/STMOgig  AT&T bit.ly/ATTGIG2016
Kitahara of Softbank “I am crazy about Massive MIMO” http://bit.ly/MMIMOCrazy
20 Gig mmWave, Massive MIMO & Gig LTE at the Huawei MBBF http://bit.ly/Huawei20
LTE gets to the gigabit explained for non-engineers http://bit.ly/GigLteexplained
Massive MIMO explained. http://bit.ly/WHMassiveMIMO
2017's Big Gigabit story: Qualcomm 835 is ready http://bit.ly/BigGigLTE
Doubling speed with 4x4 MIMO & 256 QAM at T-Mobile http://bit.ly/2k1gEOQ
Netgear Nighthawk M1, Telstra do "gigabit class" LTE http://bit.ly/2k1s5Gq
Spectrum price down by half http://bit.ly/Spectrumhalfoff
Dish and the telcos see big asset cut http://bit.ly/auctionlosers
Shorts on 3GPP,  NYU research, Ralph de la Vega, 5G new radio

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5GW News

dave right5G? 4G? Whatever the name, wireless is going to a gigabit, soon.  I've reported broadband since 1999 and now is the time for gigabit wireless. Catch a mistake or have news? Email me please. Dave Burstein


Stories worth writing

Starry may match Verizon 5G at half the cost
OFCOM in UK: Share all spectrum, even licensed
OFCOM's Boccardi: 26 GHz worldwide: U.S. goes 28 
Verizon 5G fixed tests will be only 100's of homes
Massive MIMO FD at China Uni, Tele, Huawei, ZTE





Verizon and AT&T burying price increases in fees. 

Huawei's Richard Yu intends to pass both Apple & Samsung in smartphones in five years. 

The 3,000,000,000 transistor Qualcomm 835 is a revolution. Gig LTE, incredible cameras, better VR & AR, & ... State of the art CPU, DSL, GPU, ISP tightly integrated

1,000 T-Mobile small cells 2016, 6,000 more coming. Tech Life

New $84 Reliance Lyf Wind 7S has a 5" screen, a quad-core Snapdragon, an 8 megapixel camera, and some extras. Not state of the art, perhaps, but completely usable at a modest price. 

Orange/FT 4G covers 97% of Poland, 96% of Moldova, but only 84% in France, Q3 2016. They have 113.5 mobile customers in Africa compared to 25.5M in Europe.


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