(IJCSIS) International Journal of Computer Science and Information Security,Vol. 8, No. 2, 2010
A Survey on WiMAX
The Faculty of Applied Science of Post and Communications
Danesh Blv, Jenah Ave, Azadi Sqr, Tehran, Iran.
Postal code: 1391637111
This paper describes an overview of WiMAX. Thepaper outlines fundamental architectural components forWiMAX and explains WiMAX Security Issues. Furthermorevarious 802.16 standards, IEEE 802.16 protocol architecture andWiMAX Market will be discussed.
Keywords: WiMAX; IEEE 802.16; Security; Protocol; Market;
WiMAX, meaning Worldwide Interoperability forMicrowave Access, is a telecommunications technology thatprovides wireless transmission of data using a variety of transmission modes, from point-to-multipoint links to portableand fully mobile internet access. The technology provides up to10 Mbps broadband speed without the need for cables. Thetechnology is based on the IEEE 802.16 standard (also calledBroadband Wireless Access). The name "WiMAX" wascreated by the WiMAX Forum, which was formed in June2001 to promote conformity and interoperability of thestandard. The forum describes WiMAX as "a standards-basedtechnology enabling the delivery of last mile wirelessbroadband access as an alternative to cable and DSL" .As compared to a wireless technology like Wi-Fi, WiMAXis more immune to interference, allows more efficient use of bandwidth and is intended to allow higher data rates overlonger distances. Because it operates on licensed spectrum, inaddition to unlicensed frequencies, WiMAX provides aregulated environment and viable economic model for wirelesscarriers. These benefits, coupled with the technology's globalsupport (e.g., ongoing worldwide deployments, spectrumallocation and standardization), make it the popular choice forquick and cost-effective delivery of super-fast broadbandwireless access to underserved areas around the world .WiMAX is cheaper than wired DSL because it does notrequire placing wires around the area to be covered, whichrepresents an enormous investment for the provider. Notrequiring this investment opens the door to many serviceproviders who can start retailing out wireless broadband withlow capital, thereby causing prices to drop due to competition .As with any wireless technology, the requirements forWiMAX are basically a transmitter and a receiver. Thetransmitter is a WiMAX tower, much like a GSM tower. it isthe part of the service provider's facilities. One tower, alsocalled a base station, can provide coverage to an area within aradius of around 50 km. On the other side, in order to receivethe WiMAX waves, you need a receiver for WiMAX forconnecting your computer or device.WiMAX has a range of around 50 km in a circle. Terrain,weather and buildings affect this range and this often results inmany people not receiving signals good enough for a properconnection. Orientation is also an issue, and some people haveto choose to place their WiMAX modems near windows andturned in certain specific directions for good reception.A WiMAX connection is normally non-line-of-sight, whichmeans that the transmitter and the receiver need not have aclear line between them. But a line-of-sight version exists,where performance and stability is much better, since this doesaway with problems associated with terrain and buildings .II.
FUNDAMENTAL ARCHITECTURAL COMPONENTS
WiMAX has four fundamental architectural components:
Base Station (BS).
The BS is the node that logicallyconnects wireless subscriber devices to operator networks. TheBS maintains communications with subscriber devices andgoverns access to the operator networks. A BS consists of theinfrastructure elements necessary to enable wirelesscommunications, i.e., antennas, transceivers, and otherelectromagnetic wave transmitting equipment. BSs aretypically fixed nodes, but they may also be used as part of mobile solutions
for example, a BS may be affixed to avehicle to provide communications for nearby WiMAXdevices. A BS also serves as a Master Relay-Base Station in themulti-hop relay topology.
Subscriber Station (SS).
The SS is a fixed wireless node.An SS typically communicates only with BSs, except for multi-hop relay network operations. SSs are available in both outdoorand indoor models.
Mobile Subscriber (MS).
Defined in IEEE 802.16e-2005,MSs are wireless nodes that work at vehicular speeds andsupport enhanced power management modes of operation. MSdevices are typically small and self-powered, e.g., laptops,cellular phones, and other portable electronic devices.
Relay Station (RS).
Defined in IEEE 802.16j-2009, RSsare SSs configured to forward traffic to other RSs, SSs, or MSsin a multi-hop Security Zone .