Dino Flore, Chairman of the 3GPP RAN Group



Dino Flore, Chairman of the 3GPP RAN Group

You can take your smartphone anywhere in the world, pop in a new SIM card, and it will just work. That’s not just some happy accident; that’s the result of years of coordination by 3GPP, a global partnership between several standards development organizations. In this episode, HTF Founder Richard Bennett interviews Dino Flore, the chairman of the 3GPP Radio Access Network group, about LTE technology, the promise of unlicensed spectrum and the future of networking technology.

Flore serves as Senior Director of Technical Standards at Qualcomm, and since 2005 has contributed to the design, development and specification of 3G and LTE systems. Now he chairs the group, which works on standards that are planned for several years in the future. “We don’t have a perfect crystal ball,” Flore says, but the goal is to have a standard in place and ready to go “largely by the time the market requires it.” The new release of LTE will increase efficiency to meet broadband demand, and will provide multiple options for cellular operators to offload spectrum to Wi-Fi or to LTE-unlicensed.

Bennett: “There’s been a certain amount of controversy – I think some of it is a bit manufactured – about what happens to Wi-Fi users when LTE-unlicensed and LAA (license assisted access) is inter-operating with Wi-Fi in a particular time and place. And some claims have been made that LTE-unlicensed is more aggressive than Wi-Fi is — that it takes over all the spectrum, that it starves out Wi-Fi users. But I don’t see much basis for these claims.”

Flore: “I like to point people to our technical report which we just approved. It is a very thorough analysis with a lot of simulation, and we have concluded that with appropriate channel access schemes, we can make LTE work in a very fair manner with the LAA scheme, and be a fair neighbor to Wi-Fi and other systems. I have seen a lot of hand-waving, a lot of animosity, and of course I understand we can sometimes – somehow (it becomes) a religious issue for some parties – and I stick to what we have done.”

For more on the promise of LTE-U technology, as well as what consumers and companies can expect as the world transitions to 5G and beyond, click play. And don’t forget to subscribe to the HTF podcast to have it delivered to you early on iTunes!