Qualcomm finds Wi-Fi doesn’t share spectrum so well either

As the debate continues over whether Wi-Fi and LTE-U can be good neighbors in unlicensed spectrum bands, Qualcomm has found that Wi-Fi access points don’t always share spectrum well either.

According to EE Times, Qualcomm, while researching test parameters for Wi-Fi and LTE-U coexistence, found that Wi-Fi access points can stray far from the ideal 50/50 spectrum sharing scenario.

Mingxi Fan, vice president of engineering at Qualcomm, said three brands of high-quality access points vary from 10 percent to 90 percent in sharing the link. That even goes for APs from the same vendor.

Fan said the culprits are the varying parameters used by different vendors for having devices dynamically adjust spectrum sharing. In some cases, that caused request-to-send messages from not getting through and devices weren’t able to listen and respond.

Qualcomm’s findings regarding Wi-Fi access points come amid a contentious feud between the Wi-Fi Alliance and companies like Verizon and T-Mobile that are forging ahead with plans to deploy LTE-U technology.

Last week, Wi-Fi proponents celebrated the finalizing of the Wi-Fi Alliance’s coexistence test plan for LTE-U and Wi-Fi. WifiForward, a group representing Comcast, Broadcom and others, cheered the “extraordinary compromise” within the testing guidelines that could expose up to half of all outdoor Wi-Fi connections to some degree of LTE-U degradation.

Qualcomm, however, was much less enthusiastic about the outcome.

“The latest version of the test plan released by the Wi-Fi Alliance lacks technical merit, is fundamentally biased against LTE-U, and rejects virtually all the input that Qualcomm provided for the last year, even on points that were not controversial,” said Dean Brenner, senior vice president of government affairs at Qualcomm, in a statement.

As Qualcomm continues to fight against the Wi-Fi Alliance’s testing plans, it’s somewhat surprising to see Qualcomm drag some slightly unsavory data about Wi-Fi access point spectrum sharing into the conversation. Qualcomm has been careful since the beginning of the debate to point out that it has a vested interest in Wi-Fi network technology as well as LTE-U.

Regardless of the complaints, the Wi-Fi Alliance is still eying a Sept. 21 delivery date for the final LTE-U Coexistence Test Plan.

For more:
- read this EE Times article

Related articles:
Wi-Fi Alliance on track to release LTE-U coexistence test plan by Sept. 21
Wi-Fi group claims ‘extraordinary compromise’ on LTE-U, but Qualcomm begs to differ