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Carrier Wi-Fi – what to expect in the near future

Wi-Fi comes in many shapes and sizes. It is widely used by consumers and enterprises and in recent years it has become increasingly more popular with mobile operators. The term “Carrier Wi-Fi” – Wi-Fi networks deployed and managed by operators – is nowadays commonplace in telecom lingo. Interest really started growing in 2012 with the launch of Hotspot 2.0, also known as Passpoint. This technology streamlines network access, eliminates the need for user intervention when connecting to Wi-Fi hotspots, and delivers state-of-the-art WPA2 security. Mobile operators are interested in using Wi-Fi to extend their offerings and augment their cellular experience with seamless Wi-Fi connectivity.

What should we expect from Carrier Wi-Fi in the upcoming years?

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LAA specification work starting in 3GPP

A global standard for Licensed Assisted Access is agreed to be included in Release-13, the next release of the LTE specifications by standardization organization 3GPP. Fair co-existence with other technologies operating in unlicensed spectrum is a fundamental design principle for LAA. Extensive investigations of how LAA can co-existence with itself and Wi-Fi systems have been done over the last 9 months within 3GPP. This together with a continued large industry interest formed the basis for the decision to start a work item. This blog post will give you some important details about the study and its results.

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