If you’re serious about public Wi-Fi, I’m guessing that you’re probably not happy about the mobile industry’s attack on unlicensed bands (read about it here) with LTE-U. But here’s the thing: Qualcomm is also (gently!) pushing something that could make us love them again. It’s called LWA (LTE Wi-Fi Link Aggregation).
This AWFUL acronym (and please can we have a sexier name, Qualcomm people!) is actually a big deal. To make it simple: LWA brings Wi-Fi and 4G together into a single data stream. It doesn’t mess with the unlicensed bands. In fact, it could be a God-send to the Wi-Fi industry because it could give Wi-Fi a real, viable, working, profitable, commercially succesful business model.
This is how it works: You get your usual 4G service but you get all the benefits of high-speed Wi-Fi, too. It’s kind of like slapping your home Wi-Fi service (we like that one!) together with your mobile service (we like that one, too… sometimes) to get something that’s the best of both worlds. And as a consumer, you don’t need to do a thing to make it work. It will be all in the device & managed by carriers.
So will mobile consumers be delighted at the speed boost? I think so. Will the carriers be delighted at all the Wi-Fi capacity they can now harness? I think so.
Will carriers be delighted at the vastly better economics of carrier Wi-Fi compared to anything LTE-based? I think so. Will the Wi-Fi industry finally find a fair & profitable way of working with mobile carriers? I think so.
Will the combined forces of the wireless industry work to benefit of everyone by using LWA? I think so, yes. LTE-U is essentially predatory.
LWA is the Olive Branch. Let’s start supporting it.
For more on LTE, LWA, and Carrier Wi-Fi don’t miss Wi-Fi NOW the conference in Amsterdam this November 17-19. We’re tackling LTE-U vs.Wi-Fi issue head-on with the BIG LTE-U / Wi-Fi DEBATE on November 19th. Join us!