The FCC authorized its first ever LTE-Unlicensed (LTE-U) devices in the 5 GHz band. The voluntary industry testing has proved that both LTE-U devices and WiFi operations can co-exist in the GHz band, chmn Ajit Paisaid in a statement Wed. “This heralds a technical breakthrough in the many shared uses of this spectrum…I remain committed to ensuring a competitive and vibrant unlicensed ecosystem that fosters innovation and promotes the efficient use of spectrum,” he said. LTE-U allows mobile carriers to provide mobile data services using unlicensed spectrum while sharing the band with WiFi. Companies offering WiFi services, including cable ops, initially worried that sharing the unlicensed band might cause interference. The Wi-Fi Alliance, collaborating with other groups and companies, launched the industry’s Coexistence Test Plan last year to help ensure LTE-U devices can demonstrate they share unlicensed spectrum fairly. T-Mobile USA said the devices certified by the FCC are from Ericsson and Nokia. The move will allow T-Mobile to launch new services and devices this spring, it said. LTE-U will eventually allow T-Mobile to offer gigabit LTE to more places across the country, it said. The carrier started testing LTE-U equipment as part of early field trials starting in Dec.