• What is WiMAX?

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    • Abstract: The 802.16a standard is a wireless metropolitan area network (MAN) technology that will. provide a wireless alternative to cable, ... SiWave. SiWorks Inc. SR Telecom. Stratex Networks. Towerstream. The Telnecity Group ...

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What is WiMAX?
• WiMAX is an industry trade organization formed by leading communications component
and equipment companies to promote and certify compatibility and interoperability of
broadband wireless access equipment that conforms to the IEEE* 802.16 and ETSI*
HIPERMAN standards.
• The 802.16a standard is a wireless metropolitan area network (MAN) technology that will
provide a wireless alternative to cable, DSL and T1/E1 for last mile broadband access. It
will also be used as complimentary technology to connect 802.11 hot spots to the Internet.
• WiMAX will accelerate and increase the success of future interoperability testing by
providing tools for conformance testing. Tools can be used during the equipment maker's
system development process to ensure conformance with the standards-based product
roadmap as it evolves.
• Members include leading Operators, Equipment and Component makers (see list at end)
• WiMAX was formed in April 2001, in anticipation of the publication of the original 10-66
GHz IEEE 802.16 specifications. WiMAX is to 802.16 as the Wi-Fi Alliance is to 802.11.
WiMAX Goals
• A standard by itself is not enough to enable mass adoption. WiMAX has stepped forward
to help solve barriers to adoption, such as interoperability and cost of deployment. WiMAX
will help ignite the wireless MAN industry, by defining and conducting interoperability
testing and labeling vendor systems with a "WiMAX Certified™" label once testing has
been completed successfully.
WiMAX benefits
• Component Makers
• Creates a volume opportunity for silicon suppliers
• Equipment Makers
• Innovate more rapidly because there exists a standards-based, stable platform upon
which to rapidly add new capabilities.
• No longer need to develop every piece of the end-to-end solution
• Operators
• A common platform which drives down the cost of equipment and accelerates
price/performance improvements unachievable with proprietary approaches
• Generate revenue by filling broadband access gaps
• Quickly provision T1 / E1 level and "on demand" high margin broadband services
• Reduce the dollar risk associated with deployment as equipment will be less
expensive due to economies of scale
• No longer be locked into a single vendor since base stations will interoperate with
multiple vendors' CPEs.
• Consumers
• More broadband access choices, especially in areas where there are gaps: worldwide
urban centers where building access is difficult; in suburban areas where the
subscriber is too far from the central office; and in rural and low population density
areas where infrastructure is poor.
• More choices for broadband access will create competition which will result in lower
monthly subscription prices.
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WiMAX Schedule
IEEE802.16a Initial System Select Initial Vendor WiMAX
Standard Profile Certification tests Certified
Released selected: 256 LAB Solutions in
OFDM at 2.5, the Market
3.5 and Complete Test
5.8GHz Suites
What Should Operators Deploy Now ?
Operators who want to deploy today should deploy with equipment from today's WiMAX member companies. Current
members of WiMAX account for over 75% of all sub 11GHz BWA shipments worldwide, and in some regions this
number is even higher. By deploying equipment from today's WiMAX members, an Operator can be assured there is a
roadmap and upgrade path to WiMAX compliant equipment in the future.
What is 802.16a?
• The 802.16a standard for 2-11 GHz is a wireless metropolitan area network (MAN) technology that will provide
broadband wireless connectivity to Fixed, Portable and Nomadic devices. It can be used to connect 802.11 hot spots
to the Internet, provide campus connectivity, and provide a wireless alternative to cable and DSL for last mile broadband
access. It provides up to 50-kilometers of service area range, allows users to get broadband connectivity without
needing direct line of sight with the base station, and provides total data rates of up to 280 Mbps per base station, which
is enough bandwidth to simultaneously support hundreds of businesses with T1/E1-type connectivity and thousands of
homes with DSL-type connectivity with a single base station.
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What are the Benefits of 802.16 Technology?
• Cost & Investment Risk
• Interoperable equipment lets operators purchase WiMAX Certified™ equipment from more than one vendor
• A stable, standards-based platform improves OpEx by sparking innovation at every layer, Network Management,
antennas, and more.
• Higher throughput at longer ranges (up to 50 km)
• Better bits/second/Hz at longer ranges
• Scalable system capacity
• Easy addition of new sectors supported with flexible channels maximizes cell capacity, allowing operators to scale
the network as the customer base grows.
• Flexible channel bandwidths accommodate spectrum allocations for both licensed and unlicensed spectrum
• MAC protocol scales efficiently from one to hundreds of subscribers
• Coverage
• Advanced techniques (mesh, beam-forming, MIMO) improve non-line-of-sight performance
• Superior system gain allows greater penetration of obstacles at longer distances
• Quality of Service
• Dynamic TDMA (Grant/Request) MAC supports new latency sensitive services such as voice and video
• Differentiated service levels enabled with on-demand bandwidth allocation: for example T1/E1 for business; best
effort for residential
• Help enable last-mile broadband deployment wirelessly while remaining complementary to Wi-Fi technology
• Service providers could use an 802.16 equipment to deliver T1/E1-speed or higher network connectivity to their Wi-
Fi access points. Today, it can take up to three months or more for service providers to provision a T1/E1 network
line for a business customer. With wireless broadband technology, a service provider could provision the same
network access in a matter of days and at a fraction of the cost. In addition, a service provider could offer "on
demand" high speed bandwidth for events such as tradeshows, or for nomadic businesses such as construction
sites with sporadic broadband connectivity needs.
Relationship Between 802.16a and WiMAX
• One of the purposes of the WiMAX Forum is to create a single interoperable standard from the IEEE 802.16a and ETSI
HIPERMAN standards. This is achieved by the creation of System Profiles.
• Based upon what the WiMAX Forum sees in terms of vendor equipment plans, WiMAX has decided to focus on profiles
for the 256 OFDM PHY mode of the 802.16a standard. This PHY will be combined with a non-optional MAC, ensuring
a uniform base for all WiMAX implementations.
• Initially there will be three system profiles, covering the 5.8GHz license exempt band, and the 2.5 and 3.5 GHz licensed
bands. More profiles are planned including the 2.3GHz band and more.
Relationship between 802.16a and HIPERMAN (European MAN standard)
• The IEEE 802.16a (256 OFDM PHY) and ETSI HIPERMAN standards share the same PHY and MAC. The WiMAX
Forum is active in both standards making bodies to ensure that there is a global standard for Wireless MAN.
Relationship between 802.16a and 802.16e
• The IEEE 802.16e standard is planned to be an extension to the approved IEEE 802.16/16a standard. The purpose of
802.16e is to add limited mobility to the current standard which is designed for fixed operation. IEEE 802.16e is not
intended to compete with 3G or other truly mobile efforts. Work on this extension is expected to be complete by the end
of 2004.
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Relationship between IEEE 802.16 and IEEE 802.11
802.11 802.16 Technical Difference
Range Sub ~ 300 ft. Up to 30 miles 802.16 PHY tolerates greater multi-
(add access points for Typical cell size of 4-6 path, delay spread (reflections) via
greater coverage) miles implementation of a 256 FFT vs. 64
FFT for 802.11.
Coverage Optimized for indoor Outdoor NLOS 802.16 systems have an overall higher
performance, short performanceStandard system gain, delivering greater penetra-
range support for advanced tion through obstacles at longer
antenna techniques distances.
Scalability Intended for LAN Designed to efficiently The MAC protocol used in 802.11 uses
applications, users support from one to a CSMA/CA protocol, while 802.16
scale from one to tens hundreds of CPEs, with employs Dynamic TDMA.
with one subscriber for unlimited subscribers
each CPE device. behind each CPE. 802.11 can only be used in license
exempt spectrum > limited number of
Fixed channel sizes Flexible channel sizes channels. 802.16 can use all available
(20MHz). from 1.5MHz to 20MHz. frequencies, multiple channels support
cellular deployment.
Bit rate 2.7 bps/Hz peakUp to 5 bps/Hz peakUp to 100 Higher modulations coupled with
54 Mbps in 20 MHz Mbps in a 20 MHz channel flexible error correction results in more
channel efficient use of spectrum.
QoS No QoS support QoS built into MAC -> 802.11: contention-based MAC
voice/ video and differenti- (CSMA/CA) basically wireless Ethernet
ated service levels 802.16: Dynamic TDMA-based MAC
with on-demand bandwidth allocation
Current WiMAX Member Companies
Airspan Fujitsu Microelectronics America RF Magic
Advantech Intel SiWave
Alvarion L3 PrimeWave SiWorks Inc.
Analog Devices LCC SR Telecom
Andrew Corporation MTI Stratex Networks
Aperto Networks M-Web Towerstream
Atheros Communications, Inc. NEWS IQ The Telnecity Group
China Motion Telecom Nokia TurboConcept
Compliance Certification OFDM Forum Vcom
Services Powerwave Technologies Wavesat Wireless Inc.
Comtech AHA Proxim Wireless Networks WiLan
Engim Raytheon RF Components Winova Wireless
Ensemble Communications Redline Communications Inc. Yahoo!
Filtronics RF Integration Inc.
For information on new members or for more information please visit www.wimaxforum.org
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