WS-02: Workshop on 5G Networks Using Unlicensed Spectrum

The rapidly growing mobile traffic urges the spectrum scarcity. An insightful and effective approach is to use additional spectrum to improve network capacity. In Rel-13, LTE deployment in unlicensed bands (LTE-U) is being considered. Technically, LTE-U can be deployed with the small cell or macrocell. Then 5G networks can access both licensed and unlicensed spectrum. Unlicensed spectrum is free to use but may be shared by all macrocells/small cells while licensed spectrum has to be paid. The mobile industry’s transition from 4G to 5G, which could take a decade or longer, will see network operators, infrastructure vendors, and device manufacturers progressively implement next-generation technologies even as one or more standardized 5G technologies are being defined. This transition period, which we call the 5G Era, has effectively already begun. Several technologies expected to be key ingredients of 5G, such as small cell base stations, are available today. Many others will be developed and deployed over the coming years. In this light, we think this would be a proper theme for the workshop. This workshop is supported by the IEEE Signal Processing and Communications Electronics (SPCE) Technical Committee.