Tech giants say Verizon’s unlicensed spectrum use breaks Wi-Fi

Verizon is pushing for phones to be equipped with technology to make use of unlicensed spectrum to speed up the internet and clear congestion, but not everybody’s happy.

That sounds great, say Google, Microsoft, Comcast, and others, except for one thing. The proposed system, called LTE in Unlicensed Spectrum or LTE-U, which relies on a combination of new, small cell towers and home wireless routers, risks disrupting the existing Wi-Fi access most people enjoy. For several months, the three companies have been among a group lobbying the Federal Communications Commission to delay LTE-U’s adoption pending further tests. All three declined to comment for this story, referring instead to an Oct. 23 FCC filing they joined that claims LTE-U “has avoided the long-proven standards-setting process and would substantially degrade consumer Wi-Fi service across the country.”

Let me put it like this: since the intricacies and specifics of wireless technology and its possible interactions are far beyond my own personal comprehension, I’ll just make the safe bet and side with whomever is opposing the carriers, which in this case are Microsoft and Google, and Comcast.



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