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MulteFire Alliance brings enhanced wireless to unlicensed spectrum

Nokia and Qualcomm have recently announced the formation of the MulteFire Alliance and have, together with members Ericsson and Intel, called for global industry participation through voluntary membership.

The Alliance was formed to develop and promote MulteFire - an LTE-based technology for small cells operating solely in unlicensed spectrum, such as the global 5 GHz unlicensed band. Utilising the robust radio link, ease of management and self-organising characteristics of LTE and its 3GPP standard evolution, MulteFire is envisioned to deliver enhanced performance in local area network deployments.

Because it relies solely upon unlicensed spectrum, MulteFire expands the ecosystem of LTE-based technologies to new and established service providers, including internet service providers, cable companies, mobile operators, small medium and large enterprises, and venue owners. For mobile operators, MulteFire is an attractive solution in cases when licensed spectrum is unavailable or when a multi-operator system is required.

The goal of the Alliance is to promote MulteFire technology, use cases, and business opportunities; to drive the global technical specification development; to establish a world class MulteFire product certification program and to drive future evolution of MulteFire technology, all while ensuring fair coexistence with Wi-Fi and other technologies in unlicensed spectrum.

“By bringing the benefits of LTE technologies to unlicensed spectrum, MulteFire helps provide enhanced coverage, capacity and mobility. It can also improve the Quality of Experience and security in private network deployments” said Stephan Litjens, Vice President, Portfolio Strategy & Analytics, Mobile Broadband, Nokia, and MulteFire Alliance board chair. “This technology is also aimed to deliver value to existing mobile networks and private customers such as building owners. MulteFire can act as a “neutral host” with the ability to serve users from multiple operators, especially in hard to reach places such as indoor locations, venues and enterprises.”