Wi-Fi Alliance® aims to harmonize Wi-Fi® and LTE-U coexistence

New research demonstrates central role of Wi-Fi, underscores need for fair sharing in unlicensed spectrum

November 4, 2015, Palo Alto, CA – In an effort to advance dialogue and understanding about fair spectrum sharing by LTE-U devices, Wi-Fi Alliance® is hosting a Coexistence Test Workshop today aimed at fostering dialogue among Wi-Fi® and LTE industries. Attendees include Amazon, Broadcom, Dell, Ericsson, Gibson Brands, Google, Intel, NTT, Qualcomm, Toyota, Verizon, and many others. Wi-Fi Alliance is taking action in a variety of ways to encourage the industry to address concerns related to unlicensed spectrum coexistence, and to help protect billions of users who rely on Wi-Fi every day from being adversely affected by LTE-U.

New research conducted on behalf of Wi-Fi Alliance demonstrates Wi-Fi’s integral role in users’ lives. 68 percent of respondents cite they would be very annoyed if they did not have access to uninterrupted Wi-Fi in their daily lives and 72 percent say their work productivity would be significantly impacted if their Wi-Fi usage were interrupted. Although consumers recognize the potential benefits of a technology like LTE-U, three quarters are concerned about the technology impacting their Wi-Fi. Because of this concern, 53 percent of respondents are interested in the LTE-U issue as it unfolds.

Wi-Fi Alliance will release an initial set of LTE Coexistence Simulation and Testing Guidelines, which will ultimately provide a harmonized approach to characterizing how well LTE-U devices coexist with Wi-Fi. When completed, the Wi-Fi Alliance Coexistence Guidelines will provide a common foundation on which to determine fair sharing behaviors of all LTE-U devices, regardless of brand. The Guidelines consider myriad use cases where Wi-Fi is used today, including video, VoIP, and dense and dynamic Wi-Fi environments. The Guidelines focus on key performance indicators that matter for coexistence, expected real-world topologies of mixed Wi-Fi and LTE-U environments, and realistic network loading scenarios. It is expected that these initial Guidelines will continue to evolve as a result of dialogue and input from industry, including LTE-U vendors.

“Wi-Fi has been a model of good unlicensed spectrum stewardship, and we expect similar etiquette from all technologies sharing that spectrum,” said Edgar Figueroa, president and CEO of Wi-Fi Alliance. “Cooperation among a broad cross-section of industry provides the best opportunity to deliver a viable solution for fair coexistence.”

The development of Coexistence Guidelines is one of several important elements to help resolve concerns related to Wi-Fi and LTE-U coexistence without regulatory intervention. Another element is simulating how different parameters in Wi-Fi and LTE-U affect coexistence behavior. The Coexistence Guidelines and such simulations will inform the testing of actual devices and provide a consistent method for measuring coexistence across the ecosystem. This combination of activities will help ensure there are minimal adverse effects to the 5.4 billion Wi-Fi devices in use. Companies who engage with Wi-Fi Alliance through events such as the Coexistence Test Workshop can play a role in steering and contributing to these important activities.

Companies sharing the goal of ensuring Wi-Fi and LTE-U coexistence are encouraged to participate in Wi-Fi Alliance’s planned activities. A variety of future events, presentations from the Coexistence Workshop, and additional Wi-Fi and LTE-U resources will be made available at: http://www.wi-fi.org/discover-wi-fi/unlicensed-spectrum.


Methodological note: The survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of Wi-Fi Alliance between October 5-7, 2015.  Harris Poll and Wi-Fi Alliance surveyed 2,032 adults ages 18+.

About Wi-Fi Alliance®
Wi-Fi Alliance® is a global non-profit industry association – our members are the worldwide network of companies that brings you Wi-Fi®. The members of our collaboration forum come from across the Wi-Fi ecosystem and share a common vision of connecting everyone and everything, everywhere. Since 2000, the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED seal of approval designates products with proven interoperability, industry-standard security protections, and the latest technology. Wi-Fi Alliance has certified more than 25,000 products, delivering the best user experience and encouraging the expanded use of Wi-Fi products and services in new and established markets. Today, billions of Wi-Fi products carry a significant portion of the world’s data traffic in an ever-expanding variety of applications. 

Media contacts:
Elliott Suthers
Highwire PR for Wi-Fi Alliance
+1-415-963-4174 ext. 6