Spectrum sharing with LTE is conceivable but not trivial

LTE has been designed to operate in high-interference environments. The technology divides wide radio channels of 5 MHz or 10 MHz into tiny subcarriers of 15 kHz for actual transmission with the ability to selectively use just a subset of subcarriers at particular times. This makes it fundamentally different from previous CDMA technologies such as CDMA2000 and HSPA that employ wide radio channels of 1.25 MHz in the case of CDMA2000 and 5 MHz in HSPA. This use of subcarriers enables LTE to avoid frequencies on which there may be excessive interference. This core feature of LTE may enable the technology to support spectrum sharing, but don't get too excited that we have identified the silver bullet to the looming spectrum shortage. There are many caveats.


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