Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 28

I. What is WiMAX? - Fixed WiMAX - Mobile WiMAX - WiMAX is not Wi-Fi - Converged voice and data easy as FM radio?

II. Wireless 101 - Simple Wireless Architecture - Radios and Antennas - Subscriber Stations - Site Survey III. Objections to WiMAX - Interference - Antenna Technologies and Interference - Good Quality of Service - WiMAX Security - WiMAX Reliability Next Section WiMAX has the potential to replace a number of existing telecommunications infrastructures. In a fixed wireless configuration it can replace the telephone company's copper wire networks, the cable TV's coaxial cable infrastructure while offering Internet Service Provider (ISP) services. In its mobile variant, WiMAX has the potential to replace cellular networks. How do we get there?

Figure 1 WiMAX has the potential to impact all forms of telecommunications What is WiMAX or Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access? WiMAX is an Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) standard designated 802.16-2004 (fixed wireless applications) and 802.16e-2005 (mobile wire-less). The industry trade group WiMAX Forum has defined WiMAX as a "last mile" broadband wireless access (BWA) alternative to cable modem service, telephone company Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) or T1/E1 service.

Fixed WiMAX

Figure 2 Fixed WiMAX offers cost effective point to point and point to multi-point solutions

What makes WiMAX so exciting is the broad range of applications it makes possible but not limited to broadband internet access, T1/E1 substitute for businesses, voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) as telephone company substitute, Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) as cable TV substitute, backhaul for Wi-Fi hotspots and cell phone towers, mobile telephone service, mobile data TV, mobile emergency response services, wireless backhaul as substitute for fiber optic cable. WiMAX provides fixed, portable or mobile non-line-of sight service from a base station to a subscriber station, also known as customer premise equipment (CPE). Some goals for WiMAX include a radius of service coverage of 6 miles from a WiMAX base station for point-tomultipoint, non-line-of-sight (see following pages for illustrations and definitions) service. This service should deliver approximately 40 megabits per second (Mbps) for fixed and portable access applications. That WiMAX cell site should offer enough bandwidth to support hundreds of businesses with T1 speeds and thousands of residential customers with the equivalent of DSL services from one base station. Mobile WiMAX

Figure 3 Mobile WiMAX allows any telecommunications to go mobile Mobile WiMAX takes the fixed wireless application a step further and enables cell phone-like applications on a much larger scale. For example, mobile WiMAX enables streaming video to be broadcast from a speeding police or other emergency vehicle at over 70 MPH. It potentially replaces cell phones and mobile data offerings from cell phone operators such as EvDo, EvDv and HSDPA. In addition to being the final leg in a quadruple play, it offers superior building penetration and improved security measures over fixed WiMAX. Mobile WiMAX will be very valuable for emerging services such as mobile TV and gaming. WiMAX is not Wi-Fi

Figure 4 Where Wi-Fi covers an office or coffee shop, WiMAX covers a city

One of the most often heard descriptions of WiMAX in the press is that it is "Wi-Fi on steroids". In truth, it is considerably more than that. Not only does WiMAX offer exponentially greater range and throughput than Wi-Fi (technically speaking 802.11b, although new variants of 802.11 offer substantial improvements over the "b" variant of 802.11), it also offers carrier grade quality of service (QoS) and security. Wi-Fi has been notorious for its lack of security. The "b" variant of 802.11 offered no prioritization of traffic making it less than ideal for voice or video. The limited range and throughput of Wi-Fi means that a Wi-Fi service provider must deploy multiple access points in order to cover the same area and service the same number of customers as one WiMAX base station (note the differences in nomenclature). The IEEE 802.11 Working group has since approved upgrades for 802.11 security and QoS. Converged voice and data easy as FM radio?

Figure 5 With WiMAX, converged voice and data can be as easy as FM radio Visualize turning on an FM radio in your office. You receive information (news, weather, sports) from that service (the FM radio station) and hardware (the FM radio with attached antenna). WiMAX can be described as being somewhat similar. In place of a radio station there is a base station (radio and antenna that transmits information (internet access, VoIP, IPTV) and the subscriber has a WiMAX CPE that receives the services. The major difference is that with WiMAX the service is two-way or interactive.

Figure 6 WiMAX indoor CPE, courtesy Motorola

Next Section

WiMAX Radios

At the core of WiMAX is the WiMAX radio. A radio contains both a transmitter (sends) and a receiver (receives). It generates electrical oscillations at a frequency known as the carrier frequency (in WiMAX that is usually between 2 and 11 GHz). A radio might be thought of as a networking device similar to a router or a bridge in that it is managed by software and is composed of circuit boards containing very complex chip sets. WiMAX architecture, very simply put, is built upon two components: radios and antennas. Most WiMAX products offer a base station radio separate from the antenna. Conversely, many CPE devices are also two piece solutions with an antenna on the outside of the building and subscriber station indoors as illustrated in the figure below.

Figure 9: Most WiMAX solutions use radios separate from antennas The chief advantage of this is that the radio is protected from extremes of heat cold and humidity all of which detract from the radio's performance and durability. In addition, having the antenna outdoors optimizes the link budget (performance of the wireless connection) between transmitter and receiver especially in line of sight scenarios. The antenna is connected to WiMAX radio via a cable known as a "pigtail". One simple rule for wireless installations: keep the pigtail as short as possible. Why? The longer the pigtail the more signal is lost between the antenna and the radio. The popular LMR-400 cable, for example will lose about 1 dB (pronounced "dee-bee" for decibel, a measure of signal strength) for every 10 feet of cable. Very simply put, if an antenna is placed at the top of a 20-story building and the radio in the wiring closet on the ground floor, one may lose all signal in the cable. Radios and Enclosures

Figure 10: WiMAX performance can be optimized by placing the radio in a weather resistant or weatherproof enclosure near the antenna

Radio placement The photo above shows the WiMAX radio deployed in an enclosure. Note from left to right: a) copper grounding cable on the inside of the enclosure b) Ethernet connection to the data source c) Heliax "pigtail" to the antenna (Heliax is a heavy duty, lightning resistant cable) d) 110v power via an APC UPS (note black box in top right hand corner of enclosure. What are some strategies to ensure the antenna can be as high as possible to take advan-tage of line-of-sight topologies where ever possible while keeping the pigtail as short as possible? One approach is to co-locate the radio on or near the roof with the antenna in an enclosure. Considerations for enclosures include: a) security and b) weather resistance-how hot or cold can your radio gets and still function? Sheet metal or fiberglass enclosures with a lock provide security. Next, it is necessary to determine how well suited the radio is for local atmospherics (hot or cold). Most Wi-MAX radios are rated as operating between -20 degrees Fahrenheit to 120 degrees F at the upper end. If you will be operating in locations that will exceed those parameters you need an enclosure that will shield your radio form those extremes. As the radio will generate its own heat, surrounding it with insulation will ensure the temperature of the radio will not suffer from sub-zero temperatures. Next Section

WiMAX Antennas

Figure 11: Different antenna types are designed for different applications

WiMAX antennas, just like the antennas for car radio, cell phone, FM radio, or TV, are designed to optimize performance for a given application. The figure above illustrates the three main types of antennas used in WiMAX deployments. From top to bottom are an omni directional, sector and panel antenna each has a specific function.

Omni directional antenna

Figure 12: An omni-directional antenna broadcasts 360 degrees from the base station Omni directional antennas are used for point-to-multipoint configurations. The main drawback to an omni directional antenna is that its energy is greatly diffused in broad-casting 360 degrees. This limits its range and ultimately signal strength. Omni directional antennas are good for situations where there are a lot of subscribers located very close to the base station. An example of omni directional application is a WiFi hotspot where the range is less than 100 meters and subscribers are concentrated in a small area.

Sector antennas

Figure 13: Sector antennas are focused on smaller sectors A sector antenna, by focusing the beam in a more focused area, offers greater range and throughput with less energy. Many operators will use sector antennas to cover a 360-degree service area rather than use an omni directional antenna due to the superior per-formance of sector antennas over an omni directional antenna.

Panel antennas

Figure 14: Panel antennas are most often used for point-to-point applications Panel antennas are usually a flat panel of about one foot square. They can also be a configuration where potentially the WiMAX radio is contained in the square antenna enclosure. Such configurations are powered via the Ethernet cable that connects the ra-dio/antenna combination to the wider network. That power source is known as Power over Ethernet (PoE).

This streamlines deployments as there is no need to house the radio in a separate, weatherproof enclosure if outdoors or in a wiring closet if indoors. This configuration can also be very handy for relays. Next Section

Subscriber Stations

The technical term for customer premise equipment (CPE) is subscriber station. The generally accepted marketing terms now focus on either "indoor CPE" or "outdoor CPE". There are advantages and disadvantages to both deployment schemes as described below. Outdoor CPE

Figure 15: An outdoor CPE device

Outdoor CPE, very simply put, offers somewhat better performance over indoor CPE given that WiMAX reception is not impeded by walls of concrete or brick, RF blocking glass or steel in the building's walls. In many cases the subscriber may wish to utilize an outdoor CPE in order to maximize reception via a line of sight connection to the base sta-tion not possible with indoor CPE. Outdoor CPE will cost more than indoor CPE due to a number of factors including extra measures necessary to make outdoor CPE weather re-sistant.

Indoor CPE

Figure 16: Indoor WiMAX CPE, courtesy Motorola The most significant advantage of indoor over outdoor CPE is that it is installed by the subscriber. This frees the service provider from the expense of "truck roll" or installation. In addition, it can be sold online or in a retail facility thus sparing the service provider a trip to the customer site. Indoor CPE also allows a certain instant gratification for the subscriber in that there is no wait time for installation by the service provider. Currently, many telephone companies require a one month wait between placement of order and in-stallation of T1 or E1 services. In addition, an instant delivery of service is very appeal-ing to the business subscriber in the event of a network outage by the incumbent service provider. Next Section

Site Survey

Before any equipment is deployed, there must be a site survey to determine what is needed in order to have a successful wireless operation. By understanding the dynamics of the market where the deployment will take place and planning accordingly, the service provider can ensure success on Day One of operations.

Link Budget

Figure 17: The link budget determines the success or failure of a wireless operation The figure above illustrates a link budget. It is the equation of the power of a signal transmitted minus detractions between the transmitter and receiver (rain, interference from other broadcasters, vegetation, gain at the antennas ate either end) and what signal is received at the receiver.

Frequency Plan Part of the site survey process is to determine a viable frequency plan. The wireless op-erator must make maximum use of limited spectrum assets. How does one do that?

Figure 18: By reusing frequencies at different base stations, a WiMAX operator can avoid interference from their own network The diagram above illustrates how a wireless operator (cellular, WiMAX, etc) uses their limited spectrum allocation to deliver the best service possible while avoiding interfer-ence between their base stations. Note there are nine different base stations with three different frequencies but no similarly shaded circle touches another. If they did touch, there would be interference between base stations because they would be operating on the same frequency.

Its about windows, not roof tops Traditional wireless thinking dictated that a radio and its associated antenna should be at the highest point possible with a line of sight to a majority of the service area (note mountain tops and the Empire State Building). This is not necessarily so with WiMAX. As indoor subscriber units mature, the value of antenna placement is not necessarily in height above subscribers, but in achieving as short and direct a line of sight possible be-tween base station and subscriber's CPE.

Figure 19: Imagine each window or floor paying $500 per month in WiMAX services

Next Section

Objections to WiMAX

A discussion of WiMAX is not complete without taking on objections to the technology. Before any one can sell a high technology product, they must first sell the customer on the technology.

Figure 20: Objections to WiMAX are best understood via the provisions built into the WiMAX Physical and MAC layers

Source: IEEE

Technology sales people invariably encounter objections to the technology they are selling. The primary objections to WiMAX are: 1. Interference: Won't interference from other broadcasters degrade the quality of the WiMAX service? 2. Quality of Service (QoS): Wireless is inherently unstable so how can it offer voice and video services? 3. Security: Is WiMAX secure? Can anything wireless be secure? 4. Reliability: Nothing can be as reliable as the telephone company's service (rumored to offer "five 9s" of reliability or 5 minutes of downtime per year). The answers to those objections are best understood via the Physical (known as the PHY, pronounced "fi") and Medium Access Control (MAC pronounced "mac") Layers. The WiMAX Working Group no doubt were aware of these objections based on experiences with earlier wireless technologies (Wi-Fi, LMDS, MMDS, CDMA, GSM) and have engineered WiMAX to fix failures of past wireless technologies. Next Section

Antenna Technologies & Interference

Adaptive Antenna System (AAS)

Figure 24: By utilizing AAS and beam steering technologies, WiMAX overcomes interference while boosting range and throughput Adaptive Antenna Systems (AAS) use beam-forming technologies to focus the wireless beam between the base station and the subscriber. This reduces the possibility of interference from other broadcasters as the beam runs straight between the two points.

Dynamic Frequency Selection, MIMO, and Software Defined Radios

Figure 25: Dynamic Frequency Selection enables a radio to shift frequencies when interference is present One of the simplest remedies to interference is to simply change frequencies to avoid the

frequency where interference occurs. Dynamic frequency selection (DFS) does just that. A DFS radio sniffs the airwaves to determine where interference does not occur and selects the open frequency to avoid the frequencies where interference occurs. Multiple in and multiple out (MIMO) antenna systems work on the same principle. With multiple transmitters and receivers built into the antenna, the transmitter and receiver can coordinate to move to an open frequency if/when interference occurs. Software defined radios (SDR) use the same strategy to avoid interference. As they are software and not hardware defined, they have the flexibility to dynamically shift frequencies to move away from a congested frequency to an open channel. Next Section

Business Planning

WiROI 4.0 Business Case Tool

The WiROI Business Case Analysis Tool offers network operators and equipment manufacturers a comprehensive analysis of the capital and operational expenses required for deploying a broadband wireless network. Developed through extensive industry experience with actual network deployments, the WiROI Tool has the flexibility to model a variety of deployment plans and service models. The WiROI Tool has been designed to allow operators to customize a business case analysis for any target market. The tool accepts a wide range of market data, technical parameters, and financial and service planning inputs that an operator can tailor for their particular deployment plan. It simulates a wireless network deployment and operations using a variety of service plans and produces a detailed 10 year income statement, financial output graphs, and key financial metrics. As an added feature, the WiROI Tool has an easy-to-use, interactive, dashboard-style Graphical User Interface (GUI). It enables the user to perform Sensitivity Analysis in real-time and to view the results in an animated graphical format instantly. To view interactive demonstrations of the WiROI Tools, click here to register.

WiROI 2.0 WiMAX Business Case Tool

Visible Results The WiROI Tool provides a dashboard of graphs that outline the financial performance of an operators deployment plan. In addition, the WiROI Tool produces a complete income statement up to a full 10 year business case including CapEx and OpEx as well as cash flow, cumulative cash flow, NPV and IRR outputs. A wide compliment of system and financial metrics is calculated for an Operator to visualize the networks future financial performance.

Sample Business Case Results Charts

The WiROI Tool GUI The WiROI Tool GUI incorporates animated selectors, sliders and buttons, which allow the user to vary key input parameters and visualize the output immediately. Answers can be seen instantly to questions like:

- What would the effect of a link budget be on my overall WiMAX business plan? - How will the cost of backhaul affect my OpEx? - How would the core network affect my CapEx and what might the impact be on my 10 year business plan? - How would using a 2.5 GHz spectrum vs. a 3.5 GHz spectrum impact my business plan? - How do the costs of base stations and CPEs affect my business plan? - How can the service agreements be optimized for my business plan? - These and many other critical questions can be answered instantly, interactively and easily by using WiROI.

Sensitivity Analysis Because of the dashboard-style GUI, the WiROI Tool can produce sensitivity analyses based on certain input parameters for a particular deployment. Now, Operators can quickly and easily visualize and understand the critical issues that affect their deployment plan. In addition to estimating the number of cell sites, the tool includes various options for selecting the wireless network infrastructure required to support specific coverage and capacity requirements. The user can select from a variety of core networks, access networks, base stations, as well as backhaul options. WiROI provides answers to a variety of what if scenarios to help identify the most important variables influencing the specific wireless business plan. Developing a broadband wireless network business plan could be a very complex and timeconsuming process. Quickly choosing among over 280 different input variables and assumptions, the ability to instantly modify these variables, test key assumptions and instantly visualize their impact on your wireless business plan, are invaluable capabilities.

Network Planning

WiMAX Network Financial Modeling

Part I in a series on WiMAX network planning and deployment. Business models and financial considerations for a successful WiMAX network Companies or cities that are considering building and operating wireless WiMAX networks need to consider the array of financial and business planning models prior to developing RFPs and network designs. A number of independent yet connected issues need to be discussed, researched and documented into a complete view of the proposed network.

In order to avoid past lessons, it's vital that a wireless network be self-sustainable in some way. For a city, a WiMAX network must be justifiable and create value or cost savings for the town. For a commercial operator, a network must be able to attract customers, maintain them and thrive in a competitive market. Read more...

WiMAX Network Survey

Part II in a series on how to plan a city-wide wireless WiMAX network. Companies or cities that have decided to or are considering building and operating wireless broadband networks have several important issues to consider in terms of how to proceed. Once demographic, competitive, financial, commercial and/or residential market analysis is complete, the operator must conduct a thorough engineering site survey of the area to be served. Once that is completed, the data learned and gathered during the survey will aid in the development of a preliminary network design. The initial spectrum for WiMAX in the US is unlicensed spectrum in the 5GHz range. Given that this spectrum is 'open to the public', it has inherent interference issues and risks which need to be studied carefully. A quality site survey can provide an invaluable insight into current or potential interference issues. As will be discussed in the WiMAX network design document, there are many effective ways to minimize interference in unlicensed WiMAX networks both from a site selection and equipment selection perspective. Read more...

WiMAX Network Design

Part III in a series on how to plan a city-wide wireless WiMAX network. Once a municipality or operator has considered the business model and financial aspects of the WiMAX network and a comprehensive initial site survey has been completed, a preliminary design is required. The design will leverage the assets and information gained from the site survey and allow the engineer to make a cost effective design choice in terms of equipment and architecture.


WiMAX Site Planning & Construction

Part IV in a series on how to deploy a city-wide wireless WiMAX network Fixed point-to-multipoint WiMAX-based networks typically require cell site structures, water towers or tall buildings from which to broadcast. As outlined in the survey and design sections, terrain and foliage play a critical role in finding the right tower locations. Once the survey has been completed and the site candidates have been identified, estimated coverage plots are run to determine potential network coverage. After the site candidate list has been finalized based on the coverage estimates, the formal site acquisition process will begin. Read more...

WiMAX Network Monitoring & Maintenance

Part V in a series on how to deploy a city-wide wireless WiMAX network All the work put forth to plan, design and install a quality WiMAX network can be for naught if the network is not proactively monitored and properly maintained. Cities and service operators are likely to use WiMAX networks as a delivery method for critical data and voice services (such as public safety) and having a network actively monitored and maintained is critical to its proper performance and overall success. In a large metro wireless network, there will invariably be dozens, if not hundreds of devices to monitor. These devices can include routers, switches, access points, CSU/DSUs, point-to-point links and other related items. The ability to manage remotely and monitor remotely these devices varies from one manufacturer to another. For the most part, today's leading vendors' infrastructure allows for remote SNMP management. The ability to get "into" the network and actively monitor various items is paramount to keeping the system operational to a carrier class level.


What is WiMAX?

WiMAX is an IP based, wireless broadband access technology that provides performance similar to 802.11/Wi-Fi networks with the coverage and QOS (quality of service) of cellular networks. WiMAX is also an acronym meaning "Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access (WiMAX). WiMAX is a wireless digital communications system, also known as IEEE 802.16, that is intended for wireless "metropolitan area networks". WiMAX can provide broadband wireless access (BWA) up to 30 miles (50 km) for fixed stations, and 3 - 10 miles (5 - 15 km) for mobile stations. In contrast, the WiFi/802.11 wireless local area network standard is limited in most cases to only 100 - 300 feet (30 - 100m). With WiMAX, WiFi-like data rates are easily supported, but the issue of interference is lessened. WiMAX operates on both licensed and non-licensed frequencies, providing a regulated environment and viable economic model for wireless carriers. At its heart, however, WiMAX is a standards initiative. Its purpose is to ensure that the broadband wireless radios manufactured for customer use interoperate from vendor to vendor. The primary advantages of the WiMAX standard are to enable the adoption of advanced radio features in a uniform fashion and reduce costs for all of the radios made by companies, who are part of the WiMAX Forum - a standards body formed to ensure interoperability via testing. The more recent Long Term Evolution (LTE) standard is a similar term describing a parallel technology to WiMAX that is being developed by vendors and carriers as a counterpoint to WiMAX.

What is the Range of WiMAX?

The answer to this question probably generates more confusion than any other single aspect of WiMAX. In the early days of WiMAX it was common to see statements in the media describing WiMAX multipoint coverage extending 30 miles. In a strict technical sense (in some spectrum ranges) this is correct, with even greater ranges being possible in point to point links. In practice

(and especially in the license-free bands) this is wildly overstated especially where non line of sight (NLOS) reception is concerned. Due to a variety of factors explained in more detail in other FAQ answers, the average cell ranges for most WiMAX networks will likely boast 4-5 mile range (in NLOS capable frequencies) even through tree cover and building walls. Service ranges up to 10 miles (16 Kilometers) are very likely in line of sight (LOS) applications (once again depending upon frequency). Ranges beyond 10 miles are certainly possible, but for scalability purposes may not be desirable for heavily loaded networks. In most cases, additional cells are indicated to sustain high quality of service (QOS) capability. For the carrier class approach, especially in regards to mobility, cells larger than this seem unlikely in the near future. The primary WiMAX focused US carrier Clearwire has stated that its cell sites are planned at about 1.5 miles apart for mobile purposes. This choice is clearly one intended to meet NLOS requirements. In licensed frequencies, expect similar performance or better for WiMAX than in traditional cellular systems.

What RF Frequencies does WiMAX work in?

The most recent versions of both WiMAX standards in 802.16 cover spectrum ranges from at least the 2 GHz range through the 66 GHz range. This is an enormous spectrum range. However, the practical market considerations of the Forum members dictated that the first product profiles focus on spectrum ranges that offered Forum vendors the most utility and sales potential. The International standard of 3.5 GHz spectrum was the first to enjoy WiMAX products. The US license free spectrum at 5.8 GHz has a few WiMAX vendors building products. Licensed spectrum at 2.5 GHz used both domestically in the US and fairly widely abroad is the largest block in the US. Also, in the US and in Korea products are shipping for the 2.3 GHz spectrum range. Also in the US the 3.65 GHz band of frequencies now has WiMAX gear shipping to carriers. The technology appears easily extensible to lower frequencies including the valuable 700 MHz spectrum range at which the nation's largest auction (in terms of money spent) concluded in 2008. More likely near term frequencies likely to be supported include the new 4.9 GHz public safety band (sometimes described as a Homeland security band). The second largest block of frequencies ever auctioned (in terms of money spent) occurred in the summer of 2006 with the AWS auction from the FCC. This spectrum was split with the bulk being at 1.7 GHz and the rest at 2.1 GHz. At this point, the Forum is not expected to develop a

product profile for this range as most licensees have announced support for LTE systems or plan to use it for existing GSM/UMTS networks. The physics of radio signals typically place two primary constrictions on spectrum. To generalize, the higher the spectrum frequency the greater the amount of bandwidth that can be transported---lower frequencies transport less bandwidth. Secondly, the lower the frequency the greater the carry range and penetration of a signal. For example: A 900 MHz license free radio will travel farther and penetrate some tree cover fairly easily at ranges up to one to two miles. But it can carry much less bandwidth than a 2.4 GHz signal which cannot penetrate any tree cover whatsoever, but can deliver a lot more data. The caveat that can somewhat alter this equation is power. Licensed band spectrum such as 2.5 GHz by virtue of being dedicated to one user is allotted significantly higher power levels which aids in tree and building wall penetration.

Where did the idea of WiMAX come from?

Much of the credit for the formation of the WiMAX Forum and to the founding members of the WiMAX Forum, which committed themselves early to the process of creating a collaborative standards body. As a founding member of the WiMAX Forum, Intel recognized that a well developed ecosystem was necessary to drive adoption and thereby drive lower hardware costs. Intel was also instrumental in getting other silicon chip manufacturers involved whose products would form the core of WiMAX technology.

What factors will most greatly affect range for WiMAX products?

Many factors affect range for any broadband wireless product. Some factors include the terrain and density/height of tree cover. Hills and valleys can block or partially reflect signals. Bodies of water such as rivers and lakes are highly reflective of RF transmissions. Fortunately OFDM can often turn this to an advantage---but not always. The RF shadow of large buildings can create dead spots directly behind them, particularly if license-free spectrums are being used (with their attendant lower power allotments). How busy the RF environment of a city or town is can greatly degrade signals---meaning that properly designed and well thought out networks are always desired.

The physics of radio transmission dictate that the greater the range between the base station and customer radio, the lower the amount of bandwidth that can be delivered, even in an extremely well-designed network. The climate can affect radio performance---despite this there are ubiquitous wireless networks deployed today with great success in frozen Alaskan oil fields as well as lush South American and Asian climates. And increasingly WiMAX radio antenna technology coupled with the inherent advantages of OFDM/OFDMA based radios can be a major factor in range and bandwidth capability. The new multiple input multiple output (MIMO) and adaptive antenna systems (AAS) based antenna systems promise to maintain and even link connection and link budgets with much higher bandwidth than older technology. No two cities are exactly alike in terms of the challenges and opportunities presented. In many respects, broadband wireless remains very much an art form. However, this is also true for the cellular carriers most of us use daily. It can be done quite well. Mobile broadband wireless will be more difficult. Achieving high quality of service (QOS) will be easier with fixed broadband wireless. Despite all of these challenges, current broadband wireless is very effectively serving customers even in the most challenging environments.

More Articles...

What is licensed Spectrum? Is WiMAX new? When did it start? What is the actual throughput (data transfer rate) of WiMAX Technology? What is unlicensed spectrum? What frequencies are they in? Is WiMAX Safe? What is non line of sight (NLOS)? Does WiMAX possess NLOS capability? Do I need a License? Why is WiMAX important for fixed broadband wireless? Does WiMAX have quality of service (QOS) capability? Is 3.5Ghz available in the US? Why is WiMAX important for mobile broadband wireless? Is WiMAX Technology Secure? How do I get a License? Will WiMAX compete with Wi-Fi? What is the WiMAX Security scheme/protocol? What is IEEE 802.16? Will WiMAX replace DSL and Cable? What is IEEE 802.16d? What is IEEE 802.16e? What is IEEE 802.16m?

How is WiMAX different from IEEE 802.16?

Go to top