The MulteFire Alliance has completed work on specification Release 1.0, a key milestone in bringing MulteFire technology to market. Release 1.0, based on 3GPP Releases 13 and 14, defines LTE to operate in unlicensed and shared spectrum, while ensuring fair sharing of spectrum with other users and technologies such as Wi-Fi. By removing the requirement for an anchor in licensed spectrum, MulteFire enables new use cases and new deployments to take advantage of the benefits of LTE technology.
“Over the last year, the MulteFire Alliance has gone from inception of the organization to delivery of our first specification, driven by the tireless dedication of our member companies to bring MulteFire technology to market,” said Stephan Litjens, MulteFire Alliance Board Chair and vice president, Innovation Steering, Nokia. “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.”
The MulteFire Release 1.0 specification includes the following key capabilities:
- Builds on elements of 3GPP Release 13 License Assisted Access (LAA) for the downlink and Release 14 enhanced LAA (eLAA) for the uplink
- Includes enhancements for operation solely in unlicensed spectrum such as robust procedures for mobility, paging, initial access and efficient uplink control channels
- Implements Listen-Before-Talk for fair coexistence with technologies using the same spectrum such as Wi-Fi and LAA, as well as co-existence between different MulteFire networks
- Defines a Neutral Host access mode where the same deployment can serve multiple operators, as well as a traditional access mode for a single network operator
- Enables access authentication with or without a SIM card to provide services for subscribers from different types of service providers, including mobile operators
- Supports a range of LTE services, including Voice over LTE (VoLTE) and high speed mobile broadband
The Release 1.0 specification is available to MulteFire Alliance members today and will be made available for download by anyone with an interest in MulteFire technology by mid-2017.