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In yet another example of how licensed, unicensed and shared spectrum alternatives are becoming seamless forms of access, Ericsson and Qualcomm Technologies have developed a platform blending Long Term Evolution on licensed and 5 GHz unlicensed spectrum.

License Assisted Access (LAA) sometimes is referred to as LTE-U, and essentially is intended to improve indoor coverage.

LAA is live in Ericsson labs and is now supporting the aggregation of licensed and unlicensed spectrum for peak rates up to 450 Mbps.

Verizon, SK Telecom and T-Mobile US are among mobile service providers investigating the technology.

With over 500 MHz of underutilized spectrum in the U.S. 5 GHz Unlicensed National Information Infrastructure (UNII) band, LAA might significantly improve indoor mobile device performance.

The lab trials are testing performance under “fair sharing” access where Wi-Fi and LTE devices have equal access to resources. The trials also are testing channel bonding that aggregates licensed 20-MHz channels with 40-MHz unlicensed spectrum.

Ericsson expects to add LAA to its indoor small cell portfolio in the fourth quarter of 2015.

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