In a Wednesday panel that included speakers on both sides of the LTE-U/Wi-Fi debate, T-Mobile Vice President of Engineering and Technology Policy Steve Sharkey and Verizon Assistant Vice President for Federal Regulatory Affairs said the carriers are planning to use the Wi-Fi Alliance’s coexistence plan to test devices before they go on the air.
“Verizon is still reviewing the Wi-Fi Alliance test plan, there were significant changes made at the end,” Welsh said. “But we anticipate that all LTE-U equipment would undergo that testing and pass before it’s deployed. The same would go for LAA, we’d anticipate that all LAA devices would fully comply with Release 13 of 3GPP and hopefully get on to the next generation technology.”
Similarly, Sharkey said T-Mobile views the test plan as an “important part” of making sure devices coexist well with Wi-Fi and noted the Un-carrier is even making sure device manufacturers take the standards into account.
“To the extent that coexistence has been a question, we want to make sure that devices do coexist and live up to what we expect them to do,” Sharkey said. “So the test plan is an important part of that and we expect devices will demonstrate that they coexist fairly, you know, whether they’re LTE-U or LAA, which would comply with the Release 13. And we do require manufacturers [to ensure] we are not deploying equipment that doesn’t comply with standards.”
The commitments come as T-Mobile and Verizon race to become the first to deploy the new technology. Both carriers had previously set forth 2016 launch dates for LTE-U, but those timelines were called into question when the standards’ release was delayed earlier this summer.
Verizon last week, however, said it is still “eager” to deploy LTE-U. T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray last week said the Un-carrier is “becoming more confident with the opportunity to move into unlicensed LTE in the ’17 timeframe.”