By the end of 2020, mobile operators will be investing nearly $2 billion on Long Term Evolution-Unlicensed small cells, Signals and Systems Research forecasts.
Assuming the forecast is directionally correct, the prediction might also suggest that concerns about fair access to Wi-Fi spectrum in the 5 GHz range have been resolved.
LTE-Unlicensed (LTE-U) technology uses unlicensed spectrum bands, bonded with LTE channels.
For example, Korean wireless carrier LG Uplus has demonstrated twice the speed of its commercial LTE-Advanced service by combining 60 MHz of unlicensed 5.8 GHz spectrum with 20 MHz in the licensed LTE spectrum.
LTE-U shipments are expected to grow at an 80 percent compound annual growth rate between 2016 and 2020.