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3GPP turns attention to unlicensed 5G, where will IEEE fit?

Unlicensed spectrum is playing an increasingly important role in 3GPP technologies, with the advent of LTE-U/LAA, Multefire and work on support for unlicensed bands in 5G New Radio. The last of these was adopted as a study item by the 3GPP RAN working group last month, which means it could be included in the plan for Release 16. In studying unlicensed airwaves for 5G NR, 3GPP will examine sub-6 GHz and millimeter wave options, and how the radio could optimally use any bands in a licence-exempt, shared or dynamic environment (in many cases, the licensing regime for emerging 5G bands is not yet known, and there are many debates, especially in the US, about how much of the mmWave spectrum…

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