MulteFire is an LTE (News - Alert)-based technology for small cells operating solely in unlicensed spectrum, which is defined and promoted by the MulteFire Alliance, an independent, diverse, and international member-driven consortium. The goal is to increase the LTE ecosystem to a wider market without licensed spectrum, while improving customer experience for local area Internet access including voice and video to deliver next-generation communications services. The announcement of the completion for the MulteFire Release 1.0 specifications will now focus the efforts of the alliance to trials and commercialization.
MulteFire Alliance is made up of members of some of the leading global operators, hardware and software companies, including but not limited to Athonet, Cisco, Comcast (News - Alert), Ericsson, Huawei, Intel, Nokia and Qualcomm. According to the alliance, it wants to support developers and users in the application of LTE and next generation mobile cellular technology that use only unlicensed radio spectrum configurations.
The performance benefits of MulteFire in unlicensed spectrum will improve capacity and coverage, security in LTE, mobility within MulteFire deployments with better quality of experience for existing and next generation communications services, and it is suited for hyper-dense deployments.
The alliance wants a wider adoption of a global standard to develop next generation communications solutions and wants to be able to deploy an LTE network capable of supporting a range of services, including Internet of Things (IoT) devices, voice over LTE and high-speed mobile broadband.
“By eliminating the requirement for licensed spectrum, MulteFire will enable innovation around the world with a number of exciting new use cases – from deploying a standalone network in an underground mine for industrial IoT applications to ensuring robust connectivity for mobile broadband. With Release 1.0, the Alliance is delivering on its promise of a new way to wireless,” said Stephan Litjens, MulteFire Alliance Board Chair and vice president, Innovation Steering, Nokia (News - Alert).
The new Release 1.0 specification builds on Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) Release 13 and 14. This includes improvements in License Assisted Access (LAA) and carrier aggregation, and advancements in license assisted access by removing the requirement for an anchor in licensed spectrum. Operators will be able to take advantage of the capabilities of LTE technology for new use cases and deployments.
Some of the other specification of the MulteFire Release 1.0 are: defining a Neutral Host access mode where the same deployment can serve multiple operators; enabling access authentication with or without a SIM card; and implementing Listen-Before-Talk for fair coexistence with technologies using the same spectrum such as Wi-Fi and LAA.
Edited by Alicia Young