A method and apparatus for deprioritizing access on an unlicensed band based on user equipment (UE) preference in a wireless communications system is offered. A wireless device attempts access to a cell using the frequency that is not licensed. The timer starts. After the timer has expired and the wireless device is a licensed preferred wireless device, the wireless device deprioritizes the unlicensed frequency. If the wireless device is not licensed preferred wireless device the wireless device deprioritizes only the cell. The wireless device will perform an reselection of the cell in line with the deprioritization.

3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) long-term evolution (LTE) is a method for enabling high-speed packet communications. There are a variety of schemes that can be used to meet the LTE objective, including ones that cut down on the costs for users and providers as well as improve service quality, expand and increase coverage, and increase system capacity. 3GPP LTE has a lower cost per bit, more services are available, it allows for flexible use of a frequency band, a simple structure, open interface, and adequate power consumption of a terminal to meet the additional requirements.

The work has begun in the an international telecommunications union (ITU) and 3GPP to develop requirements and specifications for new radio (NR) systems. 3GPP must identify and develop technology components that will allow the standardization of the new RAT in order to meet both immediate market requirements as well as the long-term requirements laid in the ITU radio communications sector (ITU R) international mobile telecoms (IMT-2020) process. Furthermore, the NR will be able to utilize any spectrum band that is at least up to 100 GHz, which could be made available for wireless communications even in the future.

The NR targets a single technical framework addressing all usage scenarios, requirements and deployment scenarios including enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB), massive machine-type-communications (mMTC), ultra-reliable and low latencycommunications (URLLC), etc. The NR is forward-compatible.

Carrier aggregation that includes at least one additional cell (SCell) operating in the unlicensed spectrum is known as licensed-assisted access (LAA). LAA refers to a group of serving cells designed to work with a UE. It must contain at the very least one SCell operating in spectrum that is not licensed according frame structure Type 3. Also known as LAA SCell. LAA SCells are regular SCells, except for the fact that they are not.

LAA eNodeB (eNB) and user equipment (UE) use listen-before-talk (LBT) before executing a transmission using LAA SCell. LBT applies to the transmitter to listen to the channel to determine if it’s busy or not. If the channel is found be free then the transmitter will carry out the transmission. It cannot transmit in any other way. An LAA eNB that relies on channel access signals from other technologies to enable channel access shall comply with the LAA maximum energy detection threshold.

NR standalone operation using bands that are not licensed is being considered. It is therefore essential to come up with a solution to enable NR standalone operation on an unlicensed bands effectively. Particularly, a cell on the unlicensed band can serve as the primary cell (PCell) to support the standalone operation of NR. Therefore, the initial access procedure and/or random access procedure should be done on the channels that are not licensed. In these instances, LBT failure could impact the initial access and random access procedure.

In one aspect, a method performed by a wireless device in the wireless communication system is disclosed. The method involves trying to connect to a mobile on an unlicensed network and then triggering a timer, at the point that the timer is about to expire in the event that the wireless device is licensed as a preferred wireless device prioritizing the frequency that is not licensed, if the wireless device is not a licensed preferred wireless device, deprioritizing that cell and performing an ensuing cell reset.

In another aspect, a wireless device in a wireless communication system is offered. The wireless device includes a memory, a transceiver, and a processor, operably coupled to the memory and the transceiver, and configured to attempt to accessa cell on an unlicensed frequency and to start a timer when the timer expires, in the event that the wireless device is licensed as a preferred wireless device it will deprioritize the frequency not licensed, if the device is not licensed as a preferred wireless device, deprioritize the cell and then perform an reselection of the cell.

The processor can also be provided to wireless devices within a wireless communications network. The processor is set to attempt to access a cell using an unlicensed frequency. It will start a timer, when the timer runs out, if the wirelessdevice is licensed as a preferred wireless device it will deprioritize the unlicensed frequency, if the device’s wireless frequency is not a licensed preferred wireless device deprioritize the cell, and carry out the cell reselection.

Cell reselection can be based on UE preference for the licensed frequency or the unlicensed frequency.

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