back to article Cell networks' LTE-U will kill your Wi-Fi, say digital rights bods

Wireless carriers are once again looking to reassure the American people after more objections were raised against the planned LTE-U broadband network. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has joined the likes of Google and the NCTA (US National Cable & Telecommunications Association) in asking the US's comms watchdog to …

  1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    Terminator

    only one thing needs to be said

    What can go wrong will go wrong

    Will the networks compensate all those WiFi networks they drown out? Somehow I doubt is.

    They'll just say 'go buy a new WiFi router'.

  2. Terry Cloth
    FAIL

    No listen-before-talk?

    Ridiculous! That's based on an estimate of few competing devices---how can it work otherwise? If LTE-U gets popular based on early results, it'll soon shoot itself in the foot as the airspace becomes so crowded the effective bandwidth drops.

    It'll be an interesting experiment in finding what the punters will accept when they've been promised no limits.

  3. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

    An American problem

    It is worth noting that LTE-U has listen-before-talk mandated in the 'nanny states' of Europe and Japan making this primarily an American problem.

  4. Martin Summers Silver badge

    The unlicensed land grab continues. There is precious little unlicensed space for regular consumers as it is and money grabbing telcos want to use it for their own ends instead of using what was assigned to them. Once they've got permission that's it then, anyone interfered with will be completely ignored as the juggernaut transmits all over their bandwidth. Some cynical folk might think they were trying to push people into paying twice to use bandwidth they already had.

  5. Mage Silver badge
    Mushroom

    "listen-before-talk"

    Only works for clients sharing same base. Search "hidden transmitter syndrome"

    This is mobile Telco greed and attempt to have people use phone on expensive Mobile instead of fibre fed WiFi.

    No matter how it's done, it's wrong. WiFi already barely works. band sharing is EVIL.

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: "listen-before-talk"

      Indeed, listen-before-talk obviously cannot work.

      You can demonstrate this quite easily with three walkie-talkies.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fine, I'll use a hacked firmware for max power and a duckoff huge antenna.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Heck, all I need is an amplifier between the Galileo and the antennae. I was already down with making it my gateway, just another reason to do so.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  7. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. DanielN

      "What we have at the moment is a large number of different devices all stomping over the entire ISM band almost at random."

      That's the purpose of the industrial-scientific-medical (ISM) band. Want to cook popcorn with a fuck-you-powerful radio transmitter? Slap a discount "shield" on an ISM transmitter and start zapping. Need to get telemetry out of a rotating machine? Slap a transmitter on it and make a token nod to shielding. Want to treat granny's injured knee with a radio diathermy machine? Just fire it up and start cooking the old gal.

      There are good arguments to be made for creating managed unlicensed bands. But not at the cost of the ISM bands' free-for-all nature.

      1. Knoydart

        Managed unlicensed bands don't really work in practice. You either get tragedy of the commons aka the 2.4 GHz ism band, a semi private park which is what we tried in New Zealand under the term managed spectrum park which has not been the roaring success it looked on paper because as soon as people pay any kind of money they want exclusivity and tenure, or you have full blown private spectrum which creates barriers to market entry and you are dammed any way at all in which you try and allocate it.

  8. oceanhippie

    Death by baby monitor.

    WiFi @ 2.4GHz always had troubles with other non WiFi stuff from the local pound shop. A cheapy wireless security camera system in a tiny cafe once caused havoc over the whole Brighton Beach free wifi.

    Fortunately the cafe owner preferred free internet to security and binned it.

    There's all sorts of crap in that band already, moving to the Northern Territory Pop 230k, size 1,4M square km, where all the buildings are corrugated tin Faraday cages has alleviated the problem.

    In normal cities who'd want to operate in that band? There's so many microwaves flying around already you can re-heat lasagna!

  9. Random Q Hacker

    Screw the telcos, where can I get one?

    I live in and represent a 12000 acre rural community with next to no broadband access, and fringe cell coverage. Will I able to buy this kit for a bandwidth co-op, or is unlicensed spectrum suddenly going to be licensed only to the telcos?!

    1. Knoydart
      Megaphone

      Re: Screw the telcos, where can I get one?

      If the vendors are just trying to offer extra capacity to their customers then you won't get a look in. The way I read it that it will be primarily used for supplementary down link for packets of data that are not time critical. Vendors and networks use their paid for spectrum for time critical packets carrying that voice call or live stream of a kitten playing with a ball of wool

  10. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    wifi devices shouldn't be equipped to step off LTE-U

    ""Wi-Fi devices aren't equipped to recognize the presence of an LTE-U device and don't know that they should only transmit when the LTE-U device has scheduled itself to remain silent," the EFF said."

    Good. I'd be interested in an LTE-U "access point", I suspect LTE's access control and scheduling characteristics will avoid collisions between clients and so allow much higher channel utilization than 802.11n or 802.11ac. But, I don't think that's what's happening. Barring that, if I had a "be nice to LTE-U" option in my access point, I'd turn it off.... carriers have plenty of licensed spectrum, they can damn well have their LTE-U hardware step off when wifi is active, rather than expecting wifi to step off for their LTE-U hardware.

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