MulteFire Alliance releases first specs for LTE in unlicensed spectrum bands


The MulteFire Alliance has announced the completion of its Release 1.0 specification, which defines how LTE can operate in unlicensed and shared spectrum, while ensuring fair spectrum sharing with other users and technologies such as Wi-Fi.

The MulteFire Release 1.0 specification builds on elements of 3GPP Release 13 License Assisted Access (LAA) for the downlink and Release 14 enhanced LAA (eLAA) for the uplink.

Key capabilities:

  • Includes enhancements for operation solely in unlicensed spectrum such as robust procedures for mobility, paging, initial access and efficient uplink control channels
  • Implements Listen-Before-Talk for fair coexistence with technologies using the same spectrum such as Wi-Fi and LAA, as well as co-existence between different MulteFire networks
  • Defines a neutral host access mode where the same deployment can serve multiple operators, as well as a traditional access mode for a single network operator
  • Enables access authentication with or without a SIM card to provide services for subscribers from different types of service providers, including mobile operators
  • Supports a range of LTE services, including VoLTE and high speed mobile broadband.

“Over the last year, the MulteFire Alliance has gone from inception of the organization to delivery of our first specification, driven by the tireless dedication of our member companies to bring MulteFire technology to market,” said Stephan Litjens, MulteFire Alliance Board Chair and vice president, Innovation Steering, Nokia.

Litjens added that by eliminating the requirement for licensed spectrum, “MulteFire will enable innovation around the world with a number of exciting new use cases – from deploying a standalone network in an underground mine for industrial IoT applications to ensuring robust connectivity for mobile broadband. With Release 1.0, the Alliance is delivering on its promise of a new way to wireless.”

The Release 1.0 specification is available to alliance members today and will be made available for download by anyone with an interest in MulteFire technology by mid-2017.

A new white paper that provides a detailed technical description of MulteFire technology is available here.

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