Compare LTE-U,LAA,LWA,Multefire | advantages,disadvantages

This page compares LTE-U vs LAA vs LWA vs Multefire and mentions advantages and disadvantages of LTE-U, LAA, LWA and Multefire technologies.

These terminologies are related to LTE standards. Let us understand them one by one to derive difference between them.

LTE-U | LTE Unlicensed

As we know, LTE in general uses licensed spectrum. LTE-U version uses unlicensed spectrum in 5 GHz frequency band which is already used for wifi or wlan service. Following are the advantages and disadvantages of LTE-U.

Advantages and disadvantages of LTE-U

Following are the advantages of LTE-U:
➨Increase in network capacity and network coverage in crowded indoor and outdoor areas.
➨LTE-U provides better spectrum efficiency compare to wifi which results into high data rate and high capacity.

Following are the disadvantages of LTE-U:
➨Restriction on transmit power
➨Requires CCA and LBT protocols where in CCA stands for Clear Channel Assessment and LBT stands for Listen Before Talk.

LAA | Licensed Assisted Access

It is standard version of LTE-U as managed by 3GPP. LAA uses LBT protocol to co-exist with highly used wifi devices. LBT needs LTE eNB to listen before transmission of the data. 3GPP has suggested to use LBT load based equipment category-4 version.

Following is the disadvantage of LAA:
➨LAA has drawback of not allowing wifi signal to transmit when LTE eNB transmits reservation signal until next frame boundary event. Moreover LTE devices do not initiate any transmission unless this feature is available even when channel is freely available with the LTE network.

LWA | LTE WLAN Aggregation

LWA stands for LTE WLAN Aggregation. It configures network to allow use of both wifi and LTE network simultaneously.Unlike LTE-U and LAA which requires hardware changes to co-exist with WLAN networks.

Following are the advantages of LWA from user point of view:
➨Increase in performance
➨Increase in QoS (Quality of Service)

Following are the advantages of LWA from network operator point of view:
➨It uses wifi connections to increase capacity support.
➨System capacity is increased.
➨Deployment costs are greatly reduced.
➨Simplify WLAN operation with cellular network.

Multefire technology

It operates entirely in unlicensed band unlike LTE-U, LAA and LWA. It is managed by Multefire alliance. In this technology, users install multefire AP (Access Point) or router instead of wifi gateway to avail LTE coverage. It is used by ISPs and cable operators to allow easy wifi like cellular deployments without depending on licensed spectrum.

It makes network of IoT (Internet of Things) devices a reality.

From the above discussion, one can easily derive difference between LTE-U, LAA, LWA and Multefire technologies used in 5G releases.


This 5G tutorial also covers following sub topics on the 5G technology:
5G tutorial
Difference between 4G and 5G
5G testing and test equipments
5G network architecture

What is difference between OFDM, FBMC, OFDMA and FDM

Following links provide difference between OFDM and FBMC as well as difference between OFDM vs OFDMA and difference between OFDM vs FDM.
OFDM Frame Structure and comparison with OFDMA
Basics of OFDM and difference between FDM and OFDM

Advantages and Disadvantages of other wireless technologies

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