LTE-U, aka LTE in unlicensed spectrum, is a new standard originally proposed by Qualcomm which allows LTE signals to stray into the 5GHz band to allow faster data transfer over short throws without having to join your phone to a WiFi network. It seems that the assumption is that users are to lazy or ignorant to have added their commonly used WiFi networks to their phones and so need this feature for convenience.
There is the small problem of signal interference however, dual band WiFi uses the 5GHz spectrum and we are already seeing congestion on that band. T-Mobile and Verizon claim that this extra traffic will not have any effect on WiFi signals and are already complaining about the thresholds they must honour, while Qualcomm seems to be trying to remain reasonable. Tests are currently under way, under the monitoring of the WiFi Alliance, who have posted a technical paper describing what will be tested and how. You can pop by The Register if you want to delve into the nuts and bolts of the current proposal.
"Carriers, already under a spectrum squeeze, are hoping they can pitch their tents on Wi-Fi's campground, promising that LTE-U won't disrupt Wi-Fi. will play nice if there are Wi-Fi users around."
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