LTE-U and Wi-Fi Coming Together? Oh, the rumors are swirling!

Straight from the rumor mill:

LTE-U and Wi-Fi Coming Together?

There’s this weird combination of rumors going around right now that are getting me pretty excited. They all seem to center on one manufacturer, and all in one general area: LTE-U.

First, LTE-U is all the rage. That article I posted a few weeks back got some fantastic attention, forced me to correct some issues, and taught me amazing things. One of the key things it taught me was that LTE-U is coming, regardless of what anyone’s view point is. That in mind, it’s how it will make it to market that is the creative part.

Ericsson announced that they would be building out basestations that supported it. Which is awesome for Ericsson and all the “big guys.” But, what about everyone else?

Ramblings this week are mentioning a release of a product from a top Wi-Fi group with LTE-U as part of their latest AP offering. 802.11n/ac + LTE-U from a Wi-Fi vendor? That almost sounds like it will be, dare I say, accessible, to more than just the top dogs in the industry.

So, why the excitement? The way I’m looking at this, if LTE-U is as accessible as Wi-Fi, it’s going to be of huge benefit to whoever is supporting LTE-U (I really need to switch to T-Mobile). If one or more of the top AP manufacturers start to roll this into their equipment for their next-gen (maybe with the AC Wave 2 stuff?) gear, then we could end up with LTE-U in a pretty large amount of places. I can see this driving the offload play deep into the heart of enterprise, campus, and public networks.

Think about it, if the APs you deploy have it built in, you’re one meeting away from a carrier to allow them onto your network. This opens up huge opportunities for Wi-Fi networks across every market and vertical.

On top of the thought of LTE-U being made widely available, by coupling Wi-Fi and LTE-U on the same piece of equipment, we get to set aside worry about how LTE-U and Wi-Fi will co-exist, at least when it comes to whoever is bundling the two. It’s a move I didn’t really think would come: the Wi-Fi industry embracing LTE-U, versus the LTE industry dropping Wi-Fi onto their gear.

Anyhow, those are just a smidgen of my thoughts, as usual take them with a grain of salt. 🙂

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