Electronic Products & Technology

Wi-Fi Alliance delivers LTE-U coexistence test plan

Stephen Law   

Regulations & Standards Wireless Engineering Supply Chain Wi-Fi

Multi-industry effort completed to ensure fair sharing of spectrum

As the result of a cross-industry effort and extensive research, discussion and testing, Wi-Fi Alliance recently announced the availability of the industry’s Coexistence Test Plan. The test plan completion marks the successful culmination of several months of collaboration involving dozens of companies from both the Wi-Fi and LTE-U communities.

The test plan will help ensure LTE-U devices can demonstrate they share unlicensed spectrum fairly and will serve as a valuable tool for vendors and service providers seeking to improve how their deployments coexist with Wi-Fi networks. The Coexistence Test Plan is the only available mechanism that includes a comprehensive set of test scenarios agreed upon by the industry as adequate to determine proper sharing, and Wi-Fi Alliance encourages all LTE-U vendors and operators to use the test plan to ensure their LTE-U devices and network deployments coexist fairly with Wi-Fi.

Plan includes contributions from both the Wi-Fi and LTE-U communities

The industry developed the Coexistence Test Plan using an inclusive process that incorporated contributions from both the Wi-Fi and LTE-U communities. Early agreement on foundational principles, such as a commitment to maintaining the typical connectivity experience for Wi-Fi users and a clear definition of fairness, allowed completion of the work on an aggressive timeline and guided development of test plan specifics.


These same, shared principles augmented by robust technical data were instrumental in finalizing aspects of the test plan where consensus was unachievable. Coming to an industry-agreed solution required compromises from all sides. Therefore, the test plan is designed to be used as an unedited whole. Alternate test approaches, such as selectively omitting or modifying portions of the test plan would not have been acceptable in this cross-industry effort since those tactics will not provide assurances of fair coexistence.

Delivering coexistence testing solution was an unprecedented and difficult task

“Delivering a cross-industry coexistence testing solution was an unprecedented and difficult task, and the outcome will help ensure the billions of people who rely on Wi-Fi every day will continue to benefit from the same great user experience they have enjoyed for more than 15 years,” said Edgar Figueroa, president and CEO, Wi-Fi Alliance. “Wi-Fi connectivity underpins our daily lives, and Wi-Fi Alliance has an obligation to represent the needs of Wi-Fi users worldwide.”

Wi-Fi Alliance is not seeking any regulatory mandates for coexistence. In developing the test plan, LTE-U vendors agreed to use the full Coexistence Test Plan to demonstrate that LTE-U products share spectrum fairly. It is expected that LTE-U vendors will test every LTE-U device against the entire Coexistence Test Plan. To that end, Wi-Fi Alliance is qualifying an independent test laboratory so coexistence testing can begin immediately.


The full Coexistence Test Plan is available here: https://www.wi-fi.org/file/coexistence-test-plan





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