One clear advantage of the Internet, in term of innovation, is the idea of “permissionless” innovation. Because “access” is divorced from “applications,” third party app suppliers do not need business deals or “permission” from Internet access providers to create and distribute their apps directly to end users on a “best effort” basis, with or without use of packet prioritization or quality of service mechanisms routinely used in the backbone of the network.
So some would say Long Term Evolution-Unlicensed is a clever innovation that adds more value to Wi-Fi network access, so long as the contention mechanism is the same as available to all other potential Wi-Fi devices and users.
But there always are business and policy interests wrapped around technology standards.
Two bureaus within the U.S. Federal Communications Commission are at the very least now seeking comment on whether Long Term Evolution-Unlicensed is actually technologically neutral where it comes to Wi-Fi access.
The whole point of having large amounts of unlicensed spectrum is promote innovation of services, applications, devices and business models.
The potential issue here is whether some Wi-Fi users (those using LTE-U) with compliant devices could be prevented from using Wi-Fi or other unlicensed spectrum using some access techniques.
That is precisely an example of “permission-based” regulation and business model policies.