NCTA warns FCC that LTE-U could interfere with cable Wi-Fi

The National Cable & Telecommunications Association has warned the FCC that proliferation by the wireless industry of LTE unlicensed (LTE-U) technologies could hurt the cable industry's push into Wi-Fi, which operates in many of the same unlicensed spectrum bands.

In a memo sent to FCC officials June 11, the NCTA said the agency should carefully supervise any standards-creating process surrounding the deployment of LTE-U technologies, ensuring there are "effective sharing mechanisms."

The NCTA is also asking the FCC to look into standards-making for  License Assisted Access (LAA).

The NCTA's constituency is concerned that, left unregulated, mobile phones could turn into jamming devices, capable of not only interfering with cable Wi-Fi, but also things like baby monitors.

"Widespread deployment of LTE-U or LAA would therefore harm American consumers, schools and innovators by dramatically reducing the utility of the unlicensed bands for everyone but the companies that already hold licensed spectrum," a statement by NCTA read.

The NCTA has asked the FCC to open a docket to collect comments on LTE-U and LAA, and how these technologies can effectively share spectrum.

A key backer of the two technologies, Qualcomm, responded with its own FCC filing, noting that it has already worked with standards bodies to develop specifications for LTE-U and LAA that should mitigate any concern about interference.

"Despite the pleas of some, there is absolutely no basis for any new FCC regulation with respect to LTE-U and LAA," read a statement by Qualcomm.

For more:
- read this Broadcasting & Cable story
read this CED Magazine story
read this Qualcomm FCC filing

Related links:
LTE subscribers to reach almost 1.4B globally in 2015
Boingo sees potential Wi-Fi expansion benefits of Charter/Time Warner Cable deal
Report: LTE infrastructure spending to peak at $23.3B in 2015, then start declining

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