The goal is to complete that test plan by early February, after which unlicensed LTE products could soon be tested, Brenner said. Qualcomm plans to make unlicensed LTE chips available for mobile devices and small cells in the first half of next year.
Unlicensed LTE could help mobile operators deliver faster downloads to their subscribers, especially in crowded areas where many users need to get on the carrier's airwaves. Most service providers already supplement their cellular service in some areas using Wi-Fi networks. With unlicensed LTE, subscribers wouldn't have to move off cellular and onto Wi-Fi, which can be a complicated process.
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.