Enabling Cross-technology Communication Between LTE Unlicensed And WiFi

Piotr Gawowicz Technische Universität Berlin, Germany
Anatolij Zubow Technische Universität Berlin, Germany
Adam Wolisz TUB, Germany


LTE in Unlicensed (LTE-U) constitutes a new source of interference in the 5 GHz ISM band with a potentially strong impact on WiFi performance. Cross-technology interference and radio resource management are the best ways to assure efficient coexistence but require proper signaling channels. We present LtFi, a system which enables to setup a cross-technology communication between nodes of co-located LTE-U and WiFi networks. LtFi follows a two-step approach: using an innovative side channel on their air-interface LTE-U BSs are broadcasting connection and identification information to adjacent WiFi nodes, which is used in a subsequent step to create a bi-directional control channel over the wired backhaul. The simple LtFi is fully compliant with LTE-U and works with COTS WiFi hardware. The achievable data rate on the air-interface based broadcast side channel (up to 665 bps) is sufficient for this and multiple other purposes. Experimental evaluation of a fully operational prototype has demonstrated reliable data transmission even in crowded wireless environments for LTE-U receive power levels down to-92 dBm. Moreover, system-level simulations demonstrate accurate recognition of the complete set of interfering LTE-U BSs in a typical LTE-U multi-cell environment.

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