Today, the FCC’S Office of Engineering and Technology is taking an important step by granting a special temporary authority (STA) to Qualcomm to conduct very small scale performance evaluation tests of LTE-U equipment at two Verizon sites in Oklahoma City, OK and Raleigh, NC. OET routinely grants STAs and experimental licenses for parties to evaluate the performance of products and conduct testing, subject to the condition that no harmful interference is caused.
I've been quite outspoken about my concerns with LTE-U and it's co-existence mechanisms with Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi has become a pretty integral part of our economy, business-life, and our lives in general, and the dangers I see with letting LTE-U go live without testing and validating it's use in 5GHz I believe are real.
So, I'm glad the FCC is granting the STA so testing can happen in earnest. The Wi-Fi Alliance will has some involvement in the testing methodology and how it should be done.
Previous tests by Qualcomm have been blown out of proportion by stating that it works better with Wi-Fi than Wi-Fi and would actually improve wireless networks - which was non-sense. The tests were conducted in ways that did not reflect how wireless networks are typically deployed especially in Enterprise environments.
I am not against LTE-U, I just think before a new technology that could be detrimental to another very vital communications technology is deployed, it should be properly tested and vetted.