Samsung has announced that it has joined the MulteFire Alliance, a group that develops and promotes an improved form of LTE technology running on unlicensed spectrum. The conglomerate joined the alliance as it sees the potential of the aforementioned technology, especially in the enterprise field. In a statement, the General Manager of the Samsung's wireless enterprise business in North America, Imran Akbar, remarked that this technology could enable companies to deploy carrier-grade mobile connectivity through their private networks. In a study conducted by a third-party research firm, the market for private LTE networks is expected to grow to $31 Billion by the year 2022. These kinds of systems appeal to firms as it allows them to locally control communications within a facility aside from optimizing the equipment for improved latency and quality of service. In addition, MulteFire removes the need for businesses to seek licenses for frequencies ordinarily used by carriers.
MulteFire technology is an improvement over the LTE-U and Licensed-Assisted Access (LAA) networks that the carriers already deploy in certain locations. This setup allows small cells to work only on unlicensed spectrum, as opposed to other two that still need licensed spectrum as an anchor. Examples of the unlicensed spectrum include the 5GHz frequency, which is also used by Wi-Fi networks found in the home and private establishments. However, using LTE has numerous benefits over Wi-Fi. The former can deliver increased bandwidth to connected devices, improved coverage, reduced latency, interoperability with other cellular links, and a definite pathway towards 5G. The hyper-dense small cell deployment also results in a more robust and reliable mobile service, the lack of which may affect the function of certain IoT devices and safety of workers.
Aside from private networks, the MulteFire technology can also be used by carriers to boost capacity and improve coverage in their service areas. With its Wi-Fi-like nature of its deployment, it can be placed quickly in crowded areas like schools, stadiums, and other similar areas without the need for complicated installations. On the other hand, small cells can be used to provide signals in areas that cannot be covered by larger base stations.