What is MulteFire Technology?

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- everything RF

Sep 27, 2017
Multefire is a technology that allows simple deployment of LTE in the unlicensed or shared spectrum. It can be easily deployed by operators, cable companies, ISPs, building owners and enterprises just like Wi-Fi. This technology supports voice and data, either independently as a private network and can work with existing mobile networks to provide secure, seamless service. Multefire technology is based on 3GPP Releases 13 and 14 for Licensed Assisted Access (LAA/eLAA). It needs no approval or allocated spectrum for deployment. Multiple multefire networks can co-exist or overlap and it can even co-exist with other Wireless/Wi-Fi networks. 

Nokia and Qualcomm are two founding members of Multefire Technology. In December 2015, the MulteFire Alliance was formed. An international association open to new members dedicated to promoting a global ecosystem for MulteFire. The MulteFire Alliance will also develop global technical specifications for MulteFire and establish a product certification program.

The MulteFire Release 1.0 specification was approved in December 2016 and version 1.0.1 of the specification was announced in June 2018. You need to contact the alliance to download the specification - Click here to complete the form to download it.

Release 1.0 specification, was a key milestone in bringing MulteFire technology to market, is based on 3GPP Releases 13 and 14, and defines LTE to operate in unlicensed and shared spectrum while ensuring fair sharing of spectrum with other users and technologies. By removing the requirement for an anchor in licensed spectrum, MulteFire enables new use cases and new deployments to take advantage of the benefits of LTE technology.

Specification Capabilities

  • Builds on elements of 3GPP Release 13 License Assisted Access (LAA) for the downlink and Release 14 enhanced LAA (eLAA) for the uplink
  • Includes enhancements for operation solely in unlicensed spectrum such as robust procedures for mobility, paging, initial access and efficient uplink control channels
  • Implements Listen-Before-Talk for fair coexistence with technologies using the same spectrum such as Wi-Fi and LAA, as well as co-existence between different MulteFire networks
  • Defines a Neutral Host access mode where the same deployment can serve multiple operators, as well as a traditional access mode for a single network operator
  • Enables access authentication with or without a SIM card to provide services for subscribers from different types of service providers, including mobile operators
  • Supports a range of LTE services, including Voice over LTE (VoLTE) and high speed mobile broadband