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Leading wireless chipset manufacturer Qualcomm Inc.‘s (QCOM - Free Report) subsidiary, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., has teamed up with South Korean wireless communication service provider SK Telecom Co. Ltd. to evaluate the over-the-air technology of eLAA (Enhanced Licensed Assisted Access) and LAA (Licensed Assisted Access) that utilize both licensed and unlicensed spectrum. The trial will be carried out at SK Telecom's Corporate R&D Center in Bundang, Korea, using 2.6 GHz licensed and 5 GHz unlicensed spectrum.

The assessment will ensure that there is a balanced and effective synchronization between LAA and Wi-Fi in unlicensed spectrum. Hence, the test was initiated by establishing a baseline with only Wi-Fi users. Meanwhile, some of the users were switched to LAA/eLAA while others remained on Wi-Fi. The trial illustrated that the users who stayed on Wi-Fi were unaffected by those who shifted to LAA/eLAA. Thus, it proves that LAA/eLAA shares the unlicensed spectrum fairly with Wi-Fi. The sharing mechanism used by LAA/eLAA is called listen-before-talk (LBT). In terms of performance, LAA and eLAA were applied in multiple test cases to achieve twice the capacity in 5 GHz than the Wi-Fi only baseline.

ELAA Prospects

ELAA is a technology which increases the speed of data in both uplink and downlink by bringing in both licensed and unlicensed spectrum. It thus develops a broader data pipe in both directions. The technology is an evolution of LAA, which uses unlicensed spectrum to increase data speed in the downlink direction only. The combination of licensed and unlicensed spectrum is a major step toward 5G. 

This also reflects the strength in Qualcomm and SK Telecom’s partnership which is utilizing the latest technologies to offer customers an improved experience.

Qualcomm’s Recent Developments

Qualcomm is gearing up for another acquisition and is said to be in talks to buy the Netherlands-based semi-conductor company, NXP Semiconductors NV (NXPI - Free Report) . This transaction will place Qualcomm in the second position after Intel Corporation (INTC - Free Report) in terms of sales in the semi-conductor market.

In Sep 2016, U.S. telecom behemoth Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ - Free Report) entered into a partnership with Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. which will see Verizon's IoT platform, ThingSpace, get integrated into Qualcomm Technologies' MDM9206 Category M LTE modem.

Recently, Qualcomm teamed up with AT&T Inc.(T - Free Report) to evaluate Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) or drones on commercial 4G LTE networks. Notably, the trial will put the safety and security of drones on 4G LTE and 5G networks to test.

Qualcomm currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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