What Is License Assisted Access or LAA Technology

LAA or License Assisted Access is a LTE technology that uses unlicensed spectrum in 5GHz band and licensed 4G band to offer better data speeds for mobile users. This LAA Technology solution promises to offer data speed of more than 1 GBPS.

LAA uses carrier aggregation to combine both the spectrum band to provide better downlink as well as uplink data rates and, resultantly, offer improved user experience.

Also Read : Airtel, Ericsson Carry LAA Trial, Achieve 500 Mbps Speed

The commercial success of 4G or LTE has prompted technologists across the globe to explore other technologies that can augment the power of LTE. This gave rise to using LTE in unlicensed bands that operators saw can be used to offload some of their data demands. The unlicensed spectrum in the 5GHz band was found suitable that can be combined with licensed LTE bands to get a better output.

LTE in unlicensed band was first proposed and developed by Qualcomm that used the free 5 GHz band with a WiFi enabled device. LAA or license assisted access is a type of LTE in unlicensed spectrum technology. The other such technologies that uses the unlicensed spectrum for LTE are LTE-U and MulteFire.

LAA operates in the same 5 GHz band where WiFi operates and when deployed can serve as an alternate to carrier’s WiFi hotspots. However, LAA has to co-exist with WiFi without interfering with the WiFi channels being used by the users. To enable that a technology, called Listen-before-talk or LBT was developed, that dynamically latches on to channels that are not being used by WiFi users. In case there is no clear channel available, LAA shares a channel equally with others.

Benefits of LAA Technology

  • Consumers get higher data rates, both indoor and outdoor, using the combination of licensed and unlicensed bands.
  • LAA frees up capacity on the licensed spectrum, by using both the licensed as well as unlicensed band.
  • LAA frees up capacity for Wi-Fi users
  • LAA Enables mobile operators to offer Gigabit LTE

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