Amid the impending breakdown of the structure of the RAN, and of its ownership and control, it is no surprise that the cable industry’s R&D arm, CableLabs, and the largest international cableco Liberty Global, have both joined the MuLTEfire Alliance.
“Wireless connectivity has become critically important for consumers,” said Balan Nair, CTO of Liberty Global, in a statement. “By joining the MulteFire Alliance, we are driving the future of wireless for our customers.”
“This step will arm the cable industry with a new wireless technology that builds on our success in providing Wi-Fi and mobile services and complements the industry’s fixed broadband technology leadership,” said Ralph Brown, CTO of CableLabs.
This LTE-in-5 GHz technology, devised by Qualcomm, looks set to be another hit for Qualcomm, giving it the kind of control and IPR position in a wireless networking technology on which its success has been built. However, by pushing an approach that does not require a licensed spectrum macro network as an anchor (as the other 5 GHz options, LTE-U and LTE-LAA, do), Qualcomm may be undermining its core customers and ushering new entrants, such as cablecos and of course Google, into the world of mobile services and multiplay.
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Feature image: a still from Qualcomm’s promotional MuLTEfire video.