You are on page 1of 62

ITU Centres of Excellence for Europe

Mobile Broadband
Module 2:
IEEE mobile broadband technologies

Table of contents
2.1. WiFi network architectures.............................................................................2
2.2. IEEE 802.11 standard....................................................................................7
2.3. WiFi broadband (IEEE 802.11n/ac/ad) ........................................................12
2.3.1. IEEE 802.11n ........................................................................................12
2.3.2. IEEE 802.11ac ......................................................................................16
2.3.3. IEEE 802.11ad ......................................................................................19
2.4. Mobile WiMAX release 1 (IEEE 802.16e) ....................................................23
2.5. Mobile WiMAX release 2 (IEEE 802.16m) ...................................................28
2.6. Interworking of WiFi and mobile broadband networks .................................39
2.7. QoS in IEEE wireless and mobile networks .................................................43

QoS in WiFi.......................................................................................44

2.7.2. QoS in WiMAX ......................................................................................48

2.8. Business and regulation aspects of WiFi and WiMAX .................................52
Abbreviations ......................................................................................................57
References .........................................................................................................59

2.1. WiFi network architectures

In the portfolio of the mobile/wireless broadband internet, IEEE 802 has
been the first SDO which contributed with development an alternative series of
wireless Internet standards, such as WiFi being the first global standard for local
wireless access to Internet at home, office or public places.
The main intent in WiFi development was to bring to market low-cost
products that serve customer needs. Much of the work involves license-exempt
spectrum. This removes the spectrum acquisition costs from the economic
picture. Furthermore, it weakens the concept of a monolithic operator with
strong control over the provided services (at least in home area). Instead, it
opens up the market to enterprise and innovation. IEEE 802 wireless Internet
technologies offer data rates much higher than those provided by even the fixed
user case in IMT-2000; for example, the currently popular IEEE 802.11b
standard supports 11 Mb/s, while the IEEE 802.11g speeds up to 54 Mb/s (both
are standards from the previous decade). The basic structures of IEEE standards
are not intended to offer the mobility of IMT-2000 in the sense of providing
services to moving vehicles, although extensions to high mobility are currently
under investigations, and they are not aimed at providing blanket coverage to
users at arbitrary locations within a city.
The Wireless Local Area Networks (WLANs) or WiFi (Wireless Fidelity)
represent a broadband wireless access technology which provides high data
rates on limited coverage, with great fidelity. The highest purpose of IEEE 802.11
(WiFi) standard is to provide wireless connectivity for fixed, portable, and moving
stations within a local area. This standard also offers to regulatory bodies a
means of standardizing access to one or more frequency bands for the purpose
of local area communication. The scope of this standard is to define one medium
access control (MAC) and several physical layer (PHY) specifications for wireless
connectivity for fixed, portable, and moving stations (STAs) within a local area.
The process of assembling the parts of computer hardware in computer
networking is called as computer architecture. Similarly if we use this
architectural technique in Wireless LAN (WiFi) is called as Wireless LAN
Architecture. It is a technique of designing and arrangement of different
components in Wireless local area networking device in a specific way (in Figure
2.1 is shown one example of WiFi architecture). Special type of device which is
the combination of transmitter and receiver called transceiver which is an
essential part for standard Wireless LAN architecture that is known as Access
Point (AP).
WLAN network architecture is composed of different components which
help in establishing the local area network between different operating systems.
These components are very essential for WiFi architecture:

Access point
Clients stations (e.g., lap-top, smartphone, etc.)
Switch or router (which connects WiFi network with the Internet)

Figure 2.1. Illustration of a WiFi network architecture.

Access Points
A special type of routing device that is used to transmit the data between wired
and wireless networking device is called as Access Point (AP). It is often
connected with the help of wired devices such as Ethernet. It only transmits or
transfers the data between wireless LAN and wired network by using infra
structure mode of network. One access point can only support a small group of
networks and works more efficiently. It is operated less than hundred feet. It is
denoted by AP.
Clients stations
Any kind of device such as personal computers, Note books, or any kind of
mobile devices which are inter linked with wireless network area referred as a
client of wireless LAN architecture.
It is used to establish connections between wired network devices such as
Ethernet and different wireless networks such as wireless LAN. It is typically a
switch or a router. It acts as a point of control in wireless LAN architecture.

Two components are also some time play an important role in Wireless
LAN architecture i.e.:
- Basic Service Set (BSS)
- Extended Service Set (ESS)
Furthermore, the WLAN or WiFi is divided into three main parts on which
its whole working depends and all of its applications also depend on these parts.
These types are as follows;
1. Infrastructure mode
2. Ad hoc network mode
3. Mixed network mode.
Infrastructure Mode
Any kind of machine that can communicate with every type of work station of
WLAN (WiFi) with the help of access points is called as infra structure network
mode. When BSS's are interconnected the network becomes one with
infrastructure. The IEEE 802.11 infrastructure has several elements (see Figure
2.2). Two or more BSS's are interconnected using a Distribution System or DS
(e.g., Ethernet network). This concept of DS increases network coverage. Each
BSS becomes a component of an extended, larger network. Entry to the DS is
accomplished with the use of Access Points (AP). An access point is a station,
thus addressable. So, data moves between the BSS and the DS with the help of
these access points.

Figure 2.2. Infrastructure Mode.

Creating large and complex networks using BSS's and DS's leads us to
the next level of hierarchy, the Extended Service Set or ESS. The beauty of the
ESS is the entire network looks like an independent basic service set to the
Logical Link Control layer (LLC). This means that stations within the ESS can
communicate or even move between BSSs transparently to the LLC.

Ad hoc Network Mode

A type of network in which all the work stations are linked together with other
work stations without any obstacle is referred to as ad hoc network mode (see
Figure 2.3). Moreover, when two or more stations come together to communicate
with each other, they form a Basic Service Set (BSS). The minimum BSS
consists of two stations. 802.11 LANs use the BSS as the standard building
A BSS that stands alone and is not connected to a base is called an
Independent Basic Service Set (IBSS) or is referred to as an Ad-Hoc Network.
An ad-hoc network is a network where stations communicate only peer to peer.
There is no base and no one gives permission to talk. Mostly these networks are
spontaneous and can be set up rapidly. Ad-Hoc or IBSS networks are
characteristically limited both temporally and spatially.

Figure 2.3. Ad-Hoc Mode.

Mixed network mode

It is form of network which is developed by mixing infra structure and ad hoc
network and the work stations can work simultaneously in it, is known as mixed
network mode (see example in Figure 2.4).

Figure 2.4. Mixed network Mode.

Moreover, let we see which services are provided by DSS. There are the
following five services provided by the DSS:
The first three services deal with station mobility. If a station is moving
within its own BSS or is not moving, the stations mobility is termed No-transition.
If a station moves between BSS's within the same ESS, its mobility is termed
BSS-transition. If the station moves between BSS's of differing ESS's it is ESS
transition. A station must affiliate itself with the BSS infrastructure if it wants to
use the LAN. This is done by Associating itself with an access point. Associations
are dynamic in nature because stations move, turn on or turn off. A station can
only be associated with one AP. This ensures that the DS always knows where
the station is. Association supports no-transition mobility but is not enough to
support BSS-transition. Enter Reassociation. This service allows the station to
switch its association from one AP to another. Both association and reassociation
are initiated by the station. Disassociation is when the association between the
station and the AP is terminated. This can be initiated by either party. A
disassociated station cannot send or receive data. ESS-transition are not
supported. A station can move to a new ESS but will have to reinitiate
Distribution and Integration are the remaining DSS's. Distribution is simply
getting the data from the sender to the intended receiver. The message is sent to
the local AP (input AP), then distributed through the DS to the AP (output AP)
that the recipient is associated with. If the sender and receiver are in the same
BSS, the input and out AP's are the same. So the distribution service is logically
invoked whether the data is going through the DS or not. Integration is when the
output AP is a portal. Thus, 802.x LANs are integrated into the 802.11 DS.
Furthermore, in the next section we are presenting more details about the
WLAN standards, their specifications and performances.

2.2. IEEE 802.11 standard

The Wireless Local Area Networks (WLANs) or WiFi (Wireless Fidelity)

represents a broadband access technology which provides high data rates on
limited coverage, with great fidelity. The purpose of IEEE 802.11 (WiFi) standard
is to provide wireless connectivity for fixed, portable, and moving stations within a
local area. The scope of this standard is to define one medium access control
(MAC) and several physical layer (PHY) specifications for wireless connectivity
for fixed, portable, and moving stations (STAs) within a local area.
The original IEEE 802.11 standard was published in 1999 and reaffirmed
in 2003. The first revision was published in 2007, which incorporated into the
1999 edition the following amendments: IEEE Std 802.11a-1999, IEEE Std
802.11b-1999, IEEE Std 802.11b-1999/Corrigendum 1-2001, IEEE Std 802.11d2001, IEEE Std 802.11g-2003, IEEE Std 802.11h-2003, IEEE Std 802.11i-2004,
IEEE Std 802.11j-2004 and IEEE Std 802.11e-2005.
The previous revision IEEE 802.11-2012 specifies technical corrections
and clarifications to 802.11 standard for wireless local area networks (WLANs) as
well as enhancements to the existing medium access control (MAC) and physical
layer (PHY) functions. It also incorporates Amendments 1 to 10 published in
2008 to 2011. In particular, the revision IEEE Std 802.11-2012, incorporates the
following amendments into the 2007 revision:
IEEE Std 802.11k-2008: Radio Resource Measurement of Wireless LANs
(Amendment 1): Mostly used by AP manufacturers, this amendment
makes additional radio and network information available to WLAN
devices. This information is used to make real-time decisions about WLAN
management, typically for better load balancing.
IEEE Std 802.11r-2008: Fast Basic Service Set (BSS) Transition
(Amendment 2): This amendment is a good example of how various
amendments interact, and sometimes even conflict with each other to
degrade instead of enhance 802.11 performance. A critical aspect of WiFi
is mobility, and this typically involves a client device moving from AP to AP
to maintain adequate signal strength as the user moves around. This
movement creates a transition or a hand-off and it needs to take place
relatively quickly for services to continue uninterrupted, especially timesensitive services like VoIP over WiFi (VoFi). As more and more
amendments were added to 802.11 this transition time degraded
significantly, causing problems for services like VoFi. This amendment
addresses this degradation, making transitions as fast as they can be.
IEEE Std 802.11y-2008: 36503700 MHz Operation in USA (Amendment
3): 802.11y specifies a light-licensing scheme for U.S. users to take
advantage of spectrum in the 3650 3700 MHz band, at power levels that
are significantly higher than those used in the 2.4 or 5GHz bands. The use

case for this technology will typically be for longer distance, point-to-point,
backhaul communication using 802.11.
IEEE Std 802.11w-2009: Protected Management Frames (Amendment 4):
802.11w specifies methods to increase the security of 802.11
management frames. Management frames are 802.11 packets that control
communication on the WLAN, but do not contain data. Examples include
beacons, RTS/CTS, probe responses, acknowledgements, etc. Currently
management frames are sent in the clear making them potentially
vulnerable to malicious manipulation.
IEEE Std 802.11n-2009: Enhancements for Higher Throughput
(Amendment 5): this amendment will be discussed in the following Section
IEEE Std 802.11p-2010: Wireless Access in Vehicular Environments
(Amendment 6): 802.11p deals with data exchange between high-speed
vehicles, and between vehicles and a yet-to-exist roadside WLAN
infrastructure based on licensed spectrum in the 5.85 5.925GHz band.
Though the plans for this technology seem quite grandiose, activity in this
area has been quite limited to date, and obviously has no affect on
enterprise WLAN users. Any WLAN analysis capabilities for 802.11p are
likely to be very specific to this particular application.
IEEE Std 802.11z-2010: Extensions to Direct-Link Setup (DLS)
(Amendment 7): Direct link setup (DLS) allows WLAN client devices to
connect directly to each other, bypassing the typical link through an
infrastructure AP. This has many benefits, including an increase in speed
(between the clients), an increase in network throughput (for all users),
and an increase in overall service delivery, especially for multimedia (like
a computer to DVR connection or a laptop to projector connection).
IEEE Std 802.11v-2011: IEEE 802.11 Wireless Network Management
(Amendment 8): 802.11v provides a mechanism for wireless clients to
share information about the WLAN environment with each other and APs
to improve WLAN network performance in real time. Most client devices
do not yet take advantage of this new capability, but as compatible
devices (both client and infrastructure) come to market the need to
analyze 802.11v packets will become very important, especially in
determining if the information shared is really resulting in anticipated
IEEE Std 802.11u-2011: Interworking with External Networks (Amendment
9): This is an extremely hot topic in mobile computing, and one that will
continue to get tremendous attention. It also requires solutions to some
pretty difficult problems, including discovery, authentication, authorization,
and compatibility, hence progress towards implementation has been
slower than anticipated.
IEEE Std 802.11s-2011: Mesh Networking (Amendment 10): Mesh
networking specifies an architecture and protocol for WLANs that use
radio-aware metrics over self-configuring multi-hop topologies. Essentially,
802.11s enables the creation of high-performing, scalable, ad-hoc

networks, often with no wired network access at all. One of the most
widely discussed use cases is in emergency services, like those provided
by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, where a scalable
network needs to be set up very quickly in a remote area for a finite period
of time. It is highly unlikely that enterprise customers will take advantage
of mesh technology. WLAN analysis of mesh environments is likely to be
highly specialized and mostly transient, so theres no need for the typical
enterprise-focused WLAN analysis system to deal with 802.11s, at least
not anytime soon.
As a result of publishing the 802.11-2012 revision, all of the previously
published amendments and revisions are now retired. In IEEE Std 802.11-2012,
the order of clauses and annexes has also been revised. The result of this
revised order on the numbering of clauses and annexes is summarized in Figure
2.5. The IEEE 802.11-2012 standard has wide range of purposes. In particular,
the standard:
Describes the functions and services required by an IEEE 802.11compliant device to operate within independent and infrastructure
networks as well as the aspects of STA mobility (transition) within those
Describes the functions and services that allow an IEEE 802.11-compliant
device to communicate directly with another such device outside of an
independent or infrastructure network.
Defines the MAC procedures to support the MAC service data unit
(MSDU) delivery services.
Defines several PHY signalling techniques and interface functions that are
controlled by the IEEE 802.11 MAC.
Permits the operation of an IEEE 802.11-conformant device within a
wireless local area network (WLAN) that may coexist with multiple
overlapping IEEE 802.11 WLANs.
Describes the requirements and procedures to provide data confidentiality
of user information and MAC management information being transferred
over the wireless medium (WM) and authentication of IEEE 802.11conformant devices.
Defines mechanisms for dynamic frequency selection (DFS) and transmit
power control (TPC) that may be used to satisfy regulatory requirements
for operation in any band.
Defines the MAC procedures to support local area network (LAN)
applications with quality-of-service (QoS) requirements, including the
transport of voice, audio, and video.
Defines mechanisms and services for wireless network management of
STAs that include BSS transition management, channel usage and
coexistence, collocated interference reporting, diagnostic, multicast
diagnostic and event reporting, flexible multicast, efficient beacon
mechanisms, proxy ARP advertisement, location, timing measurement,

directed multicast, extended sleep modes, traffic filtering, and

management notification.
Defines functions and procedures aiding network discovery and selection
by STAs, information transfer from external networks using QoS mapping,
and a general mechanism for the provision of emergency services.
Defines the MAC procedures that are necessary for wireless multi-hop
communication to support wireless LAN mesh topologies.

Figure 2.5. IEEE 802.11 standard amendments.

In general, many telecommunication experts claim that IEEE 802.11-2012

revision has been expanded significantly the WiFi technology towards supporting
communications between devices and networks that are faster and more secure,
while offering improved Quality of Service and, improved cellular network
IEEE 802.11 standards already underpin wireless networking applications
around the world, such as wireless access to the Internet from offices, homes,
airports, hotels, restaurants, trains and aircraft around the world. The standards
relevance continues to expand with the emergence of new applications, such as
the smart grid, which augments the facility for electricity generation, distribution,
delivery and consumption with a two-way, end-to-end network for
communications and control, as well as applications dedicated to manufacturers,
healthcare workers and retail service providers around the world.
Regarding the technical novelties delivered by the new 802.11-2012 we
can emphasize several of them such as, new support for 3.65 and 3.7GHz
bands, to avoid clashing with 2.4GHz or 5GHz networks, as well as better
support for direct linking, faster cellular hand-offs, in-car networks, roaming and
mesh networking. Moreover, the IEEE 802.11-2012 is also providing 600Mbps


throughput. The PHY (physical layer) and MAC (a software layer) components of
802.11-2012 is reworked in order to provide that impressive speed. Those and
many novel changes will also allow for new additions like "mesh" networking,
changes in security, broadcast/multicast/unicast data delivery and additional
network management features.


2.3. WiFi broadband (IEEE 802.11n/ac/ad)

This section is dedicated to the mobile broadband WiFi standards IEEE
802.11n, IEEE 802.11ac and IEEE 802.11ad.

2.3.1. IEEE 802.11n

The IEEE 802.11n standard offers several technical benefits over previous
technology generations, which result in improved throughput to 802.11n-based
clients, as well as greater reliability for legacy 802.11a/b/g clients.
It is important to say that 802.11n is much more than just a new radio for
802.11. In addition to providing higher bit rates (as was done in 802.11a, b, and
g), 802.11n makes dramatic changes to the basic frame format that is used by
802.11 devices to communicate with each other. This subsection will describe
the changes incorporated in 802.11n, including MIMO, radio enhancements, and
MAC enhancements.
Environmental characteristics and network density plays a significant role
in the ultimate performance of a network. In well-designed networks, each
access point can serve well over 150 Mbps of TCP throughput to clients using
802.11n technology, and multiple radios can operate simultaneously to provide
several gigabits of throughput.
The following table (Table 2.1) presents an overview of the used
techniques for improvement of network performance along with the
corresponding effects and opportunities that are provided by each of them.
Table 2.1. Overview of the techniques for network performance improvement in 802.11n.
Packet Aggregation


Packet Aggregation

Multiple TCP packets are

combined together in a single
MAC layer frame, to reduce
overhead from headers

Block Acknowledgements
Channel Bonding and
Coding Schemes

Spatial Multiplexing

Multiple packets can be acknowledged as a block at

the link layer, reducing the amount of airtime spent on
low-speed ACK frame
Utilize 40MHz wide channel bandwidths and high
density modulation to improve line rates from
54Mbit/sec in 802.11g to 300Mbit/sec in 802.11n
Simultaneously send multiple streams of data and
decode with multiple receivers, to increase channel


Multiple-input multiple-output is the heart of 802.11n. The following

technical discussion of MIMO provides a basis for understanding how 802.11n
can reach data rates of 600 Mbps.
MIMO technology takes advantage of several techniques to improve the
SNR at the receiver. One technique is transmit beamforming. When there is
more than one transmit antenna, it is possible to coordinate the signal sent from
each antenna so that the signal at the receiver is dramatically improved. This
technique is generally used when the receiver has only a single antenna and
when there are few obstructions or radio-reflective surfaces, e.g., open storage
In addition to MIMO technology, 802.11n makes a number of additional
changes to the radio to increase the effective throughput of the WLAN. The most
important of these changes are increased channel size, higher modulation rates,
and reduced overhead. In the following we will describe each of these changes
and the effect they have on WLAN throughput.
Moreover, using exactly the same technology as 802.11a and 802.11g,
some proprietary WLAN systems are available that provide up to 108 Mbps.
These proprietary systems use a simple technique to double the data rate of
802.11a and 802.11g. They use two channels at the same time. This is called
channel bonding. With channel bonding, the spectral efficiency is the same as
802.11a and 802.11g, but the channel frequency bandwidth is two times bigger.
This provides a simple way of doubling the data rate.
The IEEE 802.11n uses both 20 MHz and 40 MHz channels. Like the
proprietary products, the 40 MHz channels in 802.11n are two adjacent 20 MHz
channels, bonded together. When using the 40 MHz bonded channel, 802.11n
takes advantage of the fact that each 20 MHz channel has a small amount of the
channel that is reserved at the top and bottom, to reduce interference in those
adjacent channels. When using 40 MHz channels, the top of the lower channel
and the bottom of the upper channel do not have to be reserved to avoid
These small parts of the channel can now be used to carry information. By
using the two 20 MHz channels more efficiently in this way, 802.11n achieves
slightly more than doubling the data rate when moving from 20 MHz to 40 MHz
channels (see Figure 2.6). 802.11n continues to use OFDM and a 4-microsecond
symbol, similar to 802.11a and 802.11g. However, 802.11n increases the
number of subcarriers in each 20 MHz channel from 48 to 52. This marginally
increases the data rate to a maximum of 65 Mbps, for a single-transmit radio.
802.11n provides a selection of eight data rates for a transmitter to use and also
increases the number of transmitters allowable to four. For two transmitters, the
maximum data rate is 130 Mbps. Three transmitters provide a maximum data
rate of 195 Mbps. The maximum four transmitters can deliver 260 Mbps. In total,
802.11n provides up to 32 data rates for use in a 20 MHz channel.
When using 40 MHz channels, 802.11n increases the number of
subcarriers available to 108. This provides a maximum data rate of 135 Mbps,
270 Mbps, 405 Mbps, and 540 Mbps for one through four transmitters,


Figure 2.6. Illustration of the 20MHz and 40MHz channels.

Similarly, there are eight data rates provided for each transmitter, 32 in
total, for the 40 MHz channel. 802.11n can also use a short guard interval that is
400 nanoseconds long, instead of 800 nanoseconds. This slightly increases the
maximum data rates, for example in 40 MHz channels, to 150 Mbps per
transmitter. A four-transmitter 802.11n radio operating with 40 MHz channels and
using the short guard interval can therefore deliver a maximum of 600 Mbps.
Also, the IEEE 802.11n standard includes the ability for the receiver to
combine the received signals from multiple antennas to reassemble a single
spatial stream. Multipath echoes in an environment can lead to frequency
selective fading, in which certain subcarriers within a 20 MHz or 40 MHz signal
are stronger than others. Maximal-ratio combining (MRC) enables the receiver to
correlate the signal reception from multiple antennas and select the strongest of
each antenna before decoding a particular subcarrier.
In order to reduce the MAC overhead, 802.11n introduces frame
aggregation. Frame aggregation is essentially putting two or more frames
together into a single transmission. 802.11n introduces two methods for frame
aggregation: Mac Service Data Units (MSDU) aggregation and Message Protocol
Data Unit (MPDU) aggregation. Both aggregation methods reduce the overhead
to only a single radio preamble for each frame transmission (see Figure 2.7).

Figure 2.7. Illustration of the Aggregated frame.

Because multiple frames are now sent in a single transmission, the

number of potential collisions and the time lost to backoff is significantly reduced.
The maximum frame size is increased in 802.11n, as well, in order to
accommodate these large, aggregated frames. The maximum frame size is
increased from 4 KB to 64 KB. One limitation of frame aggregation is that all the
frames that are aggregated into a transmission must be sent to the same

destination; that is, all the frames in the aggregated frame must be addressed to
the same mobile client or access point. Another limitation is that all the frames to
be aggregated have to be ready to transmit from the client or access point at the
same time, potentially delaying some frames to wait for additional frames, in
order to attempt to send a single aggregate frame. A third limitation of
aggregation is that the maximum frame size that can be successfully sent is
affected by a factor called channel coherence time.
Theoretically, MSDU aggregation allows frames for many destinations to
be collected into a single aggregated frame for transmission. Practically,
however, MSDU aggregation collects Ethernet frames for a common destination,
wraps the collection in a single 802.11 frame, and then transmits that 802.11wrapped collection of Ethernet frames (see Figure 2.8). This method is more
efficient than MPDU aggregation, because the Ethernet header is much shorter
than the 802.11 header.

Figure 2.8. MSDU Frame Aggregation.

With MSDU aggregation, the entire, aggregated frame is encrypted once

using the security association of the destination of the outer 802.11 frame
wrapper. A restriction of MSDU aggregation is that all of the constituent frames
must be of the same quality-of-service (QoS) level. It is not permitted to mix voice
frames with best-effort frames, for example.
MPDU (Protocol Data Units) aggregation is slightly different from MSDU
aggregation. Instead of collecting Ethernet frames, MPDU aggregation translates
each Ethernet frame to 802.11 format and then collects the 802.11 frames for a
common destination. The collection does not require a wrapping of another
802.11 frame, since the collected frames already begin with an 802.11 MAC
header (see Figure 2.9).

Figure 2.9. MPDU Aggregation.

MPDU aggregation does require that all the 802.11 frames that constitute
the aggregated frame have the same destination address. However, this results
in the same behavior as MSDU aggregation, since the destination of all frames
sent by a mobile client is that clients access point, where the 802.11 frames are
translated to Ethernet and forwarded to the ultimate destination. Similarly, the
destination of any frame sent by the access point is a single mobile client.


The possible bitrates (theoretical maximums and real maximums) are

given in Table 2.2.
Table 2.2. IEEE 802.11n configurations and bitrates (all rates assume coding rate 5/6)
























Amendment max






Physical Data
Rate (Mbit/s)


Assuming a 70% efficient MAC layer.

2.3.2. IEEE 802.11ac

Furthermore, the purpose of the IEEE 802.11ac amendment is to improve
the WiFi user experience by providing significantly higher throughput for existing
application areas, and to enable new market segments for operation below 6
GHz including distribution of multiple data streams. With data rate over 1 Gbps
and several new features, throughput and application-specific performance of
802.11ac promise to be comparable to that of existing wired networks.
Also known as Very High Throughput (VHT), 802.11ac achieves this
purpose by building on the existing 802.11n technology. In doing so, it continues
the long-existing trend towards higher data rates (Figure 2.10), to meet the
growing application demand for WiFi network capacity and enable WiFi to remain
the technology of choice at the edge.
To increase data rates, the 802.11ac has defined a set of optional
parameters in addition to some that are mandatory. The flexibility built in the
technology is typical of the latest wireless technologies, and enables chipset and
device manufacturers to make the best use of the available resources and tailor
their products to the specific need of the targeted application. Specifically, the
802.11ac has defined optional parameters for:
Channel Bandwidth
Number of Spatial Streams
An 802.11ac device making use of only the mandatory parameters (80
MHz bandwidth, 1 spatial stream, 64 QAM 5/6 with long guard interval) will be

capable of a data rate of about 293 Mbps. A device that implements all optional
parameters (160 MHz bandwidth, 8 spatial streams, 256QAM 5/6 with short
guard interval) will be able to achieve over 6 Gbps.

Figure 2.10. Trend of WiFi technologies towards higher data rates.

Furthermore, the Table 2.3 presents some examples of 802.11ac

configurations between an AP and another 802.11ac-enabled network client
device (STA). The PHY link rate and aggregate capacity assume 256QAM, rate
5/6, and short guard interval (400 ns).
Contrary to 802.11n, which operates in both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz RF
bands, 802.11ac devices will operate only in the 5 GHz RF band. The choice to
restrict usage in this band is mainly driven by the wider channel bandwidth
requirements for 802.11ac. As the bandwidth increases, channel layout becomes
a challenge, especially in the crowded and fragmented 2.4 GHz band. Even in
the relatively expansive 5 GHz band, manufacturers will need to adapt automatic
radio tuning capabilities to use the available resources wisely and conserve
Moreover, the IEEE 802.11ac includes both mandatory and optional
bandwidth enhancements over 802.11n.
In addition to the 20 MHz and 40 MHz channel bandwidths, supported by
most 802.11n devices today, the 802.11ac draft specifications include a
mandatory, contiguous 80 MHz channel bandwidth. The key benefit of this wider
bandwidth is that it effectively doubles the PHY rate over that of 802.11n at
negligible cost increase for the chipset manufacturer. With 80 MHz contiguous
bandwidth mode, not only is the data rate/throughput higher, but also the
efficiency of the system increases, and data transfers can be made faster, thus
enabling new applications not supported by the current 802.11n specifications.
In addition, the 802.11ac specifications include an optional 160 MHz
channel bandwidth, which can be either contiguous or non-contiguous (80+80


MHz). In the non-contiguous case, the frequency spectrum consists of two

segments; each segment is transmitted using any two 802.11ac 80 MHz
channels, possibly non-adjacent in frequency. Compared with 40/80 MHz
transmissions, 160 MHz PHY transmission has the advantages of reducing the
complexity of the requirements (e.g. MIMO order, MCS, etc) that allow devices
achieve Gbps wireless throughput, and opening the door to more applications.
However, 160 MHz bandwidth in the 5 GHz band is not available worldwide, and
implementations to support this feature will likely be higher in cost hence, the
decision to make this feature optional in 802.11ac devices.
Table 2.3. IEEE 802.11ac configurations and bitrates (all rates assume coding rate 5/6)




Physical Data
Rate (Mbit/s)






















Amendment max

























Amendment max






Assuming a 70% efficient MAC layer.

IEEE 802.11ac uses 802.11n OFDM (Orthogonal Frequency Division

Multiplexing) modulation, interleaving, and coding architecture. Specifically, both
802.11ac and 802.11n require device support for BPSK, QPSK, 16QAM and
64QAM modulation. However, there are two key differences with respect to the
802.11n specifications.
First of all, 802.11ac includes an approved constellation mapping
enhancement, specifically, optional 256QAM (3/4 and 5/6 coding rates) that can
be used for both 802.11ac 80 MHz and 160 MHz transmissions. The benefit of
256QAM is that it offers 33% greater throughput than a 64QAM transmission.
This increase comes, however, at the cost of less tolerance of bit errors in lossy
signal environments.
Moreover, the IEEE 802.11ac provides backwards compatibility with
802.11a and 802.11n devices operating in the 5 GHz band. This means that:

802.11ac interworks with devices supporting 802.11a and 802.11n

802.11ac frame structures can accommodate transmission with
802.11a and 802.11n devices

The backward compatibility of 802.11ac is a definite advantage of

802.11ac over alternative revolutionary technologies (such as 802.11ad) that
also promise to increase data rate over 802.11n, but do not operate with existing
WLAN devices. Backward compatibility will ease adoption into the marketplace
and ensure 802.11ac devices can seamlessly plug into existing WLAN
Also, the number of wireless devices that support 802.11n has been
growing steadily in the past years, and this growth is expected to continue in the
future. Not only devices that have traditionally used previous amendments
(802.11a/b/g) are adopting the newer technology, but also wireless is moving into
a growing number of devices that previously did not have this capability.
Moreover, as mentioned, 802.11ac PHY is based on the well known
OFDM PHY used for 802.11n, with some important modifications necessary to
meet the 802.11acs goals. IEEE 802.11ac devices make use of OFDM
modulation principles as 802.11n, but use wider channel bandwidth, higher
modulation, more stream, and enhanced MIMO techniques to increase
throughput and enable faster, new applications. Designers and manufacturers of
802.11ac devices need to understand the requirements for this new technology
not only to create their products, but also to ensure that their test equipment is
able to tackle the raising challenges of accurately testing their performance.

2.3.3. IEEE 802.11ad

Working Group TGad has completed its work with the publication of
802.11ad, providing up to 6.75 Gbps throughput using approximately 2 GHz of
spectrum at 60 GHz over a short range. (60 GHz transmission suffers from large
attenuation through physical barriers). Bearing in mind the number of existing
devices, backward compatibility with existing standards using the same
frequency range is a must. The goal is for all the 802.11 series of standards to
be backward compatible, and for 802.11ac and ad to be compatible at the
Medium Access Control (MAC) or Data Link layer, and differ only in physical
layer characteristics. Devices could then have three radios: 2.4 GHz for general
use which may suffer from interference, 5 GHz for more robust and higher speed
applications, and 60 GHz for ultra-high-speed within a room and support
session switching amongst them. IEEE 802.11ad-2012 was published in
December 2012 and products based on this technology are now commercially
available. The unlicensed frequency allocations at around 60 GHz in each region
do not match exactly, but there is substantial overlap; at least 3.5 GHz of
contiguous spectrum is available in all regions that have allocated spectrum.


Unlike the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz unlicensed bands, the 60 GHz area is also
relatively uncongested.
Transmission at 60 GHz covers less distance for a given power, mainly
due to the increased free space path loss (loss over 1 m at 60 GHz is 68 dB,
which is 21.6 dB worse than at 5 GHz), compounded by propagation losses
through materials and human body shadowing (losses from a few dB to 30 dB+).
The substantial RF absorption peak in the 60 GHz band due to a
resonance of atmospheric oxygen molecules is often cited as a limitation on
range in this band, but this absorption effect only starts to become significant at
>100 m range, which is not really relevant to the low-power transmissions being
discussed here.
So low-power transmissions will not propagate very far, but this is
considered an advantage. It reduces the likelihood of co-channel interference
and increases the possible frequency re-use density. Another perceived
advantage of limited range is the reduced opportunity for theft of protected
content by eavesdropping on nearby transmissions.
Multiple-antenna configurations using beam-steering are an optional
feature of the 802.11ad specifications. Beam-steering can be employed to
circumnavigate minor obstacles like people moving around a room or a piece of
furniture blocking line-of-sight transmission, but longer free-space distances (e.g.
> 10 m) and more substantial obstructions (e.g. walls, doors, etc.) will prevent
It would be unlikely, for example, for a media server in one room to be
able to reliably transmit HD video directly to a display in another, but it could be
in the same room (example use case scenario for home is given in Figure 2.11).


Switchable interface

Single link either at 5 or 60

Set-top box

WiFi 5GHz ( 500 Mbps)


Concurrent dual interfaces

WiFi 60GHz ( 1 Gbps)

Figure 2.11. Example use cases for IEEE 802.11ad.


To maintain generality in the specification text, and to simplify functional

descriptions in future, the IEEE has introduced new terminology to identify the
higher performance PHYs (some of the words already mentioned before);
VHT, which is short for very high throughput, is any frequency band that
has a starting frequency below 6 GHz excluding the 2.4 GHz band.
DMG, which is short for directional multi-gigabit, pertains to operation in
any frequency band that contains a channel with a channel starting
frequency above 45 GHz.
These terms replace the previous, more frequency-specific terms LB (Low
Band at 2.4GHz), HB (High Band at 5GHz), and UB (Ultra Band at
60GHz). So, using the new terminology, clause 21 of IEEE 802.11ad-2012
defines the DMG PHY, which is normally deployed in the 60 GHz band
from 57 GHz to 66 GHz; subject to the regional variations.
The IEEE 802.11ad-2012 DMG PHY supports three distinct modulation
o Spread-spectrum modulation; the Control PHY.
o Single carrier (SC) modulation; the Single Carrier PHY and the Low
Power Single Carrier PHY.
o Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplex (OFDM) modulation; the
Table 2.4. Summary of IEEE 802.11ad Modulation and Coding Schemes (MCS).


The specification tabulates 32 different Modulation and Coding Schemes

(MCS). We can quickly simplify the picture by dividing the MCS list into four basic
classifications (Table 2.4).
It is perhaps less clear why so many MCS are required. Given the
anticipated diversity of device type that will want to support 802.11ad there are
persuasive arguments for and against both OFDM and Single Carrier (SC) based
modulations, and for seriously constrained devices there is a further argument in
favour of trading the strength of LDPC-based error correction for further power
savings. Within each of the SC, OFDM and LPSC categories, the specific MCS
selects a different pairing of error protection coding and modulation depth, which
taken together provide the user with a logical progression of link quality versus
throughput operating points.

The WiFi technology evolution is shown WiFi bitrates depend upon the
access scheme and modulation and coding schemes:
Maximum bitrates for different IEEE 802.11 standards on physical layer
(i.e., b, g/s, n, ac) are given in the Table 2.5.
In reality, bitrates can be much lower at higher distances between Access
Point and wireless stations (e.g., lap-top, smartphone with WiFi, etc.), i.e.,
lower signal to noise ratio
o Typical coverage area of WiFi on 2.4 GHz is several tens of meters
(e.g., home, office area) due to limited signal power (typically below
100 mW).
o WiFi on 5 GHz is typically allowed to have up to 1 W output power,
hence it may have bigger coverage area (typically used as
backbone for APs operating on 2.4 GHz).
Table 2.5. Comparison of WiFi bitrates on physical layer
WiFi standard


Frequency bands

IEEE 802.11

Up to 2 Mbit/s

2.4 GHz

IEEE 802.11b

Up to 11 Mbit/s

2.4 GHz

IEEE 802.11a

Up to 54 Mbit/s

5 GHz

IEEE 802.11g

Up to 54 Mbit/s

2.4 GHz

IEEE 802.11n

Up to 600 Mbit/s

2.4 GHz and 5 GHz

IEEE 802.11ac

Up to 6.93 Gbit/s

5 GHz


2.4. Mobile WiMAX release 1 (IEEE 802.16e)

The IEEE 802.16e has emerged as a strong candidate standard for
nowadays 3G and future wireless systems primarily because it offers the
potential for high spectral efficiency, flexible spectrum options (e.g., 26 GHz),
scalable carrier bandwidth options (e.g., from 1.25 MHz to 20 MHz), multiple
duplexing options (time and frequency division duplex), various
subchannelization options, and, unlike its IEEE 802.16 predecessors, mobility.
Because of the recent emergence of IEEE 802.16e and the complexity it poses in
system analysis, there is little published work in the literature regarding the actual
system capacity (throughput) performance of IEEE 802.16e for high data rate
The true 3G Mobile WiMAX release 1 standard (IEEE 802.16e) is
divergent from Fixed WiMAX. It attracted a significant number of Forum members
towards an opportunity to substantively challenge existing 3G technology
purveyors. While clearly based on the same OFDM base technology adopted in
802.16-2004, the 802.16e version is designed to deliver service across many
more sub-channels than the OFDM 256-FFT. It is important to note that both
standards support single carrier, OFDM 256-FFT and at least OFDMA 1K-FFT.
Moreover, the 802.16e standard adds OFDMA 2K-FFT, 512-FFT and 128FFT capability. Sub-channelization facilitates access at varying distance by
providing operators the capability to dynamically reduce the number of channels
while increasing the gain of signal to each channel in order to reach customers
farther away. The reverse is also possible. For example, when a user gets
closer to a cell site, the number of channels will increase and the modulation can
also change to increase bandwidth. At longer ranges, modulations like QPSK
(which offer robust links but lower bandwidth) can give way at shorter ranges to
64 QAM (which are more sensitive links, but offer much higher bandwidth) for
example. Each subscriber is linked to a number of subchannels that obviate
multi-path interference. The upshot is that cells should be much less sensitive to
overload and cell size shrinkage during the load than before. Ideally, customers
at any range should receive solid QoS without drops that 3G technology may
experience. The 802.16e version of WiMAX also incorporates support for
multiple-input-multiple-output (MIMO) antenna technology as well as
Beamforming and Advanced Antenna Systems (AAS), which are all "smart"
antenna technologies that significantly improve gain of WiMAX systems as well
as throughput.
The IEEE 802.16e standard is being utilized primarily in licensed spectrum
for pure mobile applications. Many firms have elected to develop the 802.16e
standard exclusively for both fixed and mobile versions. The 802.16e version of
WiMAX is the closest comparable technology to the emerging LTE mobile
wireless standard. Or rather, it is more proper to say that LTE is the most
comparable to Mobile WiMAX in terms of capabilities as well as technology. The
two competing technologies are really very much alike technically.


In the following we summarised the key advantages of the Mobile WiMAX

release 1 (802.16e):
Mobile WiMAX physical layer is based on Scalable OFDMA
The new technologies employed for Mobile WiMAX result in lower
equipment complexity and simpler mobility management due to the allIP core network and provide Mobile WiMAX systems with many other
advantages over CDMA-based 3G systems.
Tolerance to Multipath and Self-Interference.
Scalable Channel Bandwidth.
Orthogonal Uplink Multiple Access.
Support for Spectrally-Efficient TDD.
Frequency-Selective Scheduling.
Fractional Frequency Reuse.
Fine Quality of Service (QoS).
Advanced Antenna Technology.
IEEE 802.16e-2005 initially was targeted to the 2.3 GHz, 2.5 GHz, 3.3
GHz, 3.4-3.8 GHz spectrum bands. The Release-1 of 802.16e profiles covers 5,
7, 8.75, and 10 MHz channel bandwidths for frequency bands above.
Furthermore, in Figure 2.12 we give the Reference Model of (3G) Mobile
WiMAX release 1.

Figure 2.12. 3G Mobile WiMAX Reference Model.

The WiMAX network reference model is composed of four logical parts:

Mobile Stations (MS) - Comprise all user (subscriber) mobile devices,
such as mobile phones and laptops, and software needed for
communication with a wireless telephone network.


Network Access Provider (NAP) - Provides radio access functionality.

Contains the logical representation of the functions of a NAP. Some of
the functions included in the NAP are: access service network (ASN),
IEEE 802.16 interface with network entry and handover, ASN-GW
(gateway), base stations (wireless towers), foreign agent (FA), QoS
and policy enforcement, and forwarding to a selected CSN. A NAP
may have contracts with multiple NSPs.
Network Service Provider (NSP) - Provides IP connectivity services.
Contains the logical representation of the functions of the NSP. Some
of the functions included within the NSP are: connectivity service
network (CSN), home agent (HA), visited and home AAA servers
(VAAA or HAAA), connectivity to the Internet, IP address management,
authentication, authorization, and accounting, and mobility and
roaming between ASNs. An NSP may have a contract with another
NSP and may also have contracts between multiple NAPs.
Internet - Provides Internet content to a user/subscriber and
connectivity to a NSP.

Reference points (for example, R1 or R2) are conceptual links that

connect two functional entities. Reference points represent a bundle of protocols
between peer entities (similar to an IP network interface). Interoperability is
enforced through reference points without dictating how vendors implement the
edges of those reference points. The main reference points in WiMAX
architecture are:
R1: Represents the interface between the wireless device and the
base station.
R2: Represents the link between the MS (mobile station) and the CSN
(connectivity service network). EAP traffic from the mobile station to
the AAA server traverses R2 and R3.
R3: Represents the link between the ASN (access service network)
and the CSN. RADIUS traffic between the ASN-GW and the AAA
server traverses R3.
R4: Represents the link between an ASN and another ASN.
R5: Represents the link between a CSN and another CSN.
R6: Consists of a set of control and bearer plane protocols for
communication between the BS and the ASN GW. The bearer plane
consists of intra-ASN data path or inter-ASN tunnels between the BS
and ASN GW. The control plane includes protocols for IP tunnel
management (establish, modify, and release) in accordance with the
MS mobility events. R6 may also serve as a conduit for exchange of
MAC states information between neighbouring BSs.
R8: Consists of a set of control plane message flows and, in some
situations, bearer plane data flows between the base stations to
ensure fast and seamless handover. The bearer plane consists of
protocols that allow the data transfer between Base Stations involved
in handover of a certain MS. The control plane consists of the inter-BS


communication protocol defined in IEEE 802.16 and additional set of

protocols that allow controlling the data transfer between the Base
Stations involved in handover of a certain MS.
Furthermore, in Figure 2.13 are given two implementation scenarios: ASN
scenario 1 and 2.

Figure 2.13. Illustration of the implementation scenarios.

The IEEE 802.16e mobile WiMAX standard allows data transmission

using multiple broadband frequency ranges. The original 802.16a standard
specified transmissions in the range 10 - 66 GHz, but 802.16d allowed lower
frequencies in the range 2 to 11 GHz. The lower frequencies used in the later
specifications means that the signals suffer less from attenuation and therefore
they provide improved range and better coverage within buildings. This brings
many benefits to those using these data links within buildings and means that
external antennas are not required. Different bands are available for WiMAX
applications in different parts of the world. The frequencies commonly used are
3.5 and 5.8 GHz for 802.16d and 2.3, 2.5 and 3.5 GHz for 802.16e but the use
depends upon the countries (see Table 2.6).
Furthermore, as one of the major goal of any network technology,
including mobile WiMAX is delivering any existing service with good level of QoS
support. In order to categorise the different types of QoS, there are five WiMAX
QoS classes that have been defined (they are outlined in QoS section in this
module). The 3G Mobile WiMAX introduces OFDMA and supports several key
features necessary for delivering mobile broadband services at vehicular speeds


greater than 120 km/hr with QoS comparable to broadband wireline access
Table 2.6. Major spectrum allocations for 3G mobile WiMAX worldwide.

bands (GHz)

North America

2.3; 2.5; 3.5; 5.8

Central and South


2.5; 3.5; 5.8


2.5; 3.5; 5.8

Middle East and


2.5; 5.8

Asia Pacific

2.3; 2.5; 3.3; 3.5; 5.8

General comment

The spectrum varies between


The WiMAX technology continues to evolve with the WiMAX Forums

approval of the Release-1 mobile WiMAX system performance profiles based on
the 802.16e-2005 amendment and beyond 4G Mobile WiMAX release 2 (IEEE
802.16m-2011, see the next section). With OFDMA, mobile WiMAX can meet the
stringent requirements necessary for the delivery of mobile broadband services
in a challenging mobile environment.
However, 3G Mobile WiMAX joined the 3G family (IMT-2000) in late 2007,
so its late position on 3G market provided possibilities only to penetrate into less
developed mobile markets at that time, since 3G mobile broadband
(UMTS/HSPA) was already on the ground in the developed mobile markets.


2.5. Mobile WiMAX release 2 (IEEE 802.16m)

The IMT-Advanced requirements (defined and approved by ITUR/Working Party 5D and published as Report ITU-R M.2134) are referred to as
target requirements in the IEEE 802.16m (Mobile WiMAX release 2) system
requirement document and will be evaluated based on the methodology and
guidelines specified by Report ITU-R M.2135. A careful examination of the IMTAdvanced requirements reveals that they are a subset of, and less stringent than,
the IEEE 802.16m system requirements; therefore, the IEEE 802.16m standard
can qualify as an IMT-Advanced technology. Full backward compatibility and
interoperability with the reference system is required for IEEE 802.16m systems,
although the network operator can disable legacy support in Greenfield
deployments. The reference system is defined as a system that is compliant with
a subset of the IEEE 802.16e-2005 features (see the previous section).
Furthermore, in Table 2.7 we summarized the IEEE 802.16m baseline
system requirements and the corresponding requirements specified by Report
ITU-R M.2134.
Table 2.7. IMT-Advanced and IEEE 802.16m system requirements.


The IEEE 802.16 standards describes medium-access-control (MAC) and

physical layer (PHY) protocols for fixed and mobile broadband wireless-access
systems, including IEEE 802.16m. The MAC and PHY functions can be classified
into three categories, namely, data plane, control plane, and management plane
(see Figure 2.14). The data plane comprises functions in the data processing
path such as header compression, as well as MAC and PHY data packetprocessing functions. A set of layer-2 (L2) control functions is required to support
various radio resource configuration, coordination, signalling, and management.
This set of functions is collectively referred to as the control-plane functions. A
management plane also is defined for external management and system
configuration. Therefore, all management entities fall into the management plane
category. The IEEE 802.16m MAC layer is composed of two sublayers: the
convergence sublayer (CS) and the MAC common-part sublayer (MAC CPS).
For convenience, MAC CPS functions are classified into two groups based on
their characteristics as shown in Figure 2.14. The upper and lower classes are
called the resource control and management functional group and the MAC
functional group, respectively. The control-plane functions and data-plane
functions also are classified separately. As shown in Figure 2.14, the radioresource control and management functional group comprises several functional
blocks including:
Radio-resource management: This block adjusts radio network
parameters related to the traffic load and also includes the functions of
load control (load balancing), admission control, and interference control.
Mobility management: This block scans neighbour BSs and decides
whether an MS should perform a handover operation.
Network-entry management: This block controls initialization and access
procedures and generates management messages during initialization
and access procedures.

Figure 2.14. Illustration of the IEEE 802.16m protocol structure.

Location management: This block supports location-based service

(LBS), generates messages including the LBS information, and
manages the location-update operation during idle mode.
Idle-mode management: This block controls idle-mode operation and
generates the paging- advertisement message, based on a paging
message from the paging controller in the core network.
Security management: This block performs key management for secure
communication. Using a managed key, traffic encryption/ decryption and
authentication are performed.
System configuration management: This block manages systemconfiguration parameters and generates broadcast-control messages,
such as a DL/UL channel descriptor.
Multicast and broadcast service (MBS): This block controls and
generates management messages and data associated with the MBS.
Connection management: This block allocates connection identifiers
(CIDs) during initialization/handover service-flow creation procedures;
interacts with the convergence sublayer to classify MAC service data
units (MSDUs) from upper layers; and maps MSDUs into a particular
transport connection.


Furthermore, the MAC functional group includes functional blocks that are
related to physical layer and link controls such as:
PHY control: This block performs PHY signalling such as ranging,
channel quality measurement/feedback (CQI), and hybrid automatic
repeat request (HARQ) acknowledgment (ACK) or negative
acknowledgment (NACK) signalling.
Control signalling: This block generates resource-allocation messages
such as DL/UL medium-access protocol (MAP), as well as specific
control signalling messages, and other signalling messages not in the
form of general MAC messages (e.g., a DL frame control header).
Sleep mode management: This block handles sleep mode operation and
generates management messages related to sleep operation and can
communicate with the scheduler block to operate properly according to
the sleep period.
Quality-of-service (QoS): This block performs rate control based on QoS
input parameters from the connection management function for each
Scheduling and resource multiplexing: This block schedules and
multiplexes packets based on the properties of the connections.
Automatic repeat request (ARQ): This block performs the MAC ARQ
function. For ARQ-enabled connections, the ARQ block splits MSDUs
logically and sequences logical ARQ blocks.
Fragmentation/packing: This block performs the fragmentation or
packing of MSDUs based on input from the scheduler block.
MAC PDU formation: This block constructs MAC protocol data units
(PDUs) so that a BS/MS can transmit user traffic or management
messages via PHY channels.
The IEEE 802.16m protocol structure is similar to that of IEEE 802.16 with
additional functional blocks for new features including the following:
Relay functions: Relay functionality and packet routing in relay networks
Self-organization and self-optimization functions: a plug-and-play form of
operation for an indoor BS (i.e., a femtocell).
Multi-carrier functions: Control and operation of a number of adjacent or
non-adjacent radio-frequency (RF) carriers where the RF carriers can be
assigned to unicast and/or multicast and broadcast services. A single
MAC instantiation is used to control several physical layers. If the MS
supports multi-carrier operation, it can receive control and signalling,
broadcast, and synchronization channels through a primary carrier, and
traffic assignments can be made on the secondary carriers. A
generalization of the protocol structure for multi-carrier support using a
single MAC instantiation is shown in Figure 2.15. The load-balancing
functions and the RF-carrier mapping and control are performed by the
radio-resource control and management functional class. From the


perspective of an MS, the carriers utilized in a multi-carrier system can

be divided into two categories:
o A primary RF carrier is the carrier that is used by the BS and
the MS to exchange traffic and full PHY/MAC control
o A secondary RF carrier is an additional carrier that the BS may
use for traffic allocations for mobile stations capable of
multicarrier support.

Figure 2.15. IEEE 802.16m multicarrier protocol stack and frame structure.

Based on the primary and/or secondary usage, the carriers of a multicarrier system can be configured differently as follows:
Fully configured carrier: A carrier for which all control channels
including synchronization, broadcast, multicast, and unicast control
signalling are configured. The information and parameters related to
multi-carrier operation and the other carriers also can be included in
the control channels.
Partially configured carrier: A carrier with only essential control-channel
configuration to support traffic exchanges during multicarrier operation.
If the user-terminal RF front end and/or its baseband is not capable of
processing more than one RF carrier simultaneously, the user terminal
may be allowed, in certain intervals, to monitor secondary RF carriers
and to resume monitoring of the primary carrier prior to transmission of
the synchronization, broadcast, and nonuser-specific control channels.


Multi-radio coexistence functions: Protocols for multi-radio coexistence,

where the MS generates management messages to report the
information about its co-located radio activities obtained from the interradio interface, and the BS responds with the corresponding messages
to support multi-radio coexistence operation.

It is well known that the IEEE 802.16m uses OFDMA as the multiple
access scheme in the DL and UL. It further supports both time-division duplex
(TDD) and frequency-division duplex (FDD) schemes including the half-duplex
FDD (HFDD) operation of the mobile stations in the FDD networks. Also, IEEE
802.16m identified new frequency bands for FDD and TDD deployment of
systems (see Table 2.8).
Table 2.8. IEEE 802.16m frequency bands


When it comes a word about modulation and coding in the IEEE 802.16m
we can say that it supports quadrature-phase shift keying (QPSK), 16-QAM, and
64-QAM modulation schemes in the DL and UL. The performance of adaptive
modulation generally suffers from the power inefficiencies of multilevelmodulation formats. This is due to the variations in bit reliabilities caused by the
bit-mapping onto the signal constellation. To overcome this issue, a constellation
rearrangement scheme is utilized where a signal constellation of quadrature
amplitude modulation (QAM) signals between retransmissions is rearranged; that
is, the mapping of the bits onto the complex-valued symbols between successive
HARQ retransmissions is changed, resulting in averaging the bit reliabilities over
several retransmissions and lower packet-error rates. The mapping of bits to the
constellation point depends on the constellation rearrangement type used for
HARQ retransmissions and also can depend on the MIMO scheme. The
complex-valued modulated symbols are mapped to the input of the MIMO
encoder. Incremental-redundancy HARQ is used in determining the starting
position of the bit selection for HARQ retransmissions.
Furthermore, IEEE 802.16m supports several advanced multi-antenna
techniques including single and multi-user MIMO (spatial multiplexing and beamforming) as well as a number of transmit diversity schemes. In single-user MIMO
(SU-MIMO) scheme only one user can be scheduled over one resource unit,
while in multi-user MIMO (MU-MIMO), multiple users can e scheduled in one
resource unit. Single-user MIMO (SU-MIMO) schemes are used to improve the
link performance, by providing robust transmissions with spatial diversity, or large
spatial multiplexing gain and peak data rate to a single MS, or beam-forming
gain. Both open-loop SU-MIMO and closed-loop SU-MIMO is supported in 16m.
For open-loop SU-MIMO, both spatial multiplexing and transmit diversity
schemes are supported. For closed-loop SU-MIMO, codebook based pre-coding
is supported for both TDD and FDD systems. CQI, PMI, and rank feedback can
be transmitted by the mobile station to assist the base stations scheduling,
resource allocation, and rate adaptation decisions. CQI, PMI, and rank feedback
may or may not be frequency dependent. For closed-loop SU-MIMO, sounding
based pre-coding is supported for TDD systems.
On the other side, multi-user MIMO (MU-MIMO) schemes are used to
enable resource allocation to communicate data to two or more MSs. MU-MIMO
enhances the system throughput. Multi-user transmission with one stream per
user is supported in MU-MIMO mode. MU-MIMO includes the MIMO
configuration of 2Tx antennas to support up to 2 users, and 4Tx or 8Tx antennas
to support up to 4 users. Both unitary and non-unitary MU-MIMO linear precoding techniques are supported.
For open-loop MU-MIMO, CQI and preferred stream index feedback may
be transmitted to assist the base stations scheduling, transmission mode
switching, and rate adaptation. The CQI is frequency dependent. For closed-loop
multi -user MIMO, codebook based pre-coding is supported for both TDD and
FDD systems. CQI and PMI feedback can be transmitted by the mobile station to
assist the base stations scheduling, resource allocation, and rate adaptation
decisions. CQI and PMI feedback may or may not be frequency dependent. For


closed-loop multi -user MIMO, sounding based pre-coding is supported for TDD
systems. In Figure 2.16 is given a basic comparison of SU-MIMO and MU-MIMO.
Multi-BS MIMO techniques are supported in IEEE 802.16m for improving
sector throughput and cell-edge throughput through multi-BS collaborative
precoding, network coordinated beamforming, or inter-cell interference nulling.
Both open-loop and closed-loop multi-BS MIMO techniques can be considered.
For closed-loop multi-BS MIMO, CSI feedback via codebook based feedback or
sounding channel will be used. The feedback information may be shared by
neighbouring BSs via network interface. This places significant obligation in low
latency backhauls.

Figure 2.16. Examples of SU-MIMO (a) and MU-MIMO (b).

COMP - Coordinated multi-point (CoMP) is a new class of transmission

schemes for interference reduction in the 802.16m technology. Enabling features
such as network synchronization, cell- and user-specific pilots, feedback of
multicell channel state information and synchronous data exchange between the
base stations can be used for interference mitigation and for possible macro
diversity gain. The collaborative MIMO (Co-MIMO) and the closed-loop macro
diversity (CL-MD) techniques are examples of the possible options. For downlink
Co-MIMO, multiple BSs perform joint MIMO transmission to multiple MSs located
in different cells. Each BS performs multi-user precoding towards multiple MSs,
and each MS is benefited from Co-MIMO by receiving multiple streams from
multiple BSs. For downlink CL-MD, each group of antennas of one BS performs
narrow-band or wide-band single-user precoding with up to two streams
independently, and multiple BSs (see Figure 2.17).

Figure 2.17. Multi BS-MIMO


The comparison between different parameters of IEEE 802.16m and LTEAdvanced is given in Table 2.9.
Table 2.9. Comparison of IEEE 802.16m and LTE-Advanced

IEEE 802.16m


Peak data rates


DL: > 1000 (low mobility)

DL: > 100 (high mobility)
UL: > 130

DL: > 1000

UL: > 500

Spectrum allocation

Up to 100MHz

Up to 20-100 MHz


Control plane: 100 msec

User plane:10 msec

Control plane: 50 msec

User plane: 10 msec

MIMO technique

Downlink: up to 8x8
Uplink: up to 4x4

Downlink: up to 8x8
Uplink: up to 4x8

Peak Spectral
efficiency (bit/s/Hz)

DL: 15 (4x4) MIMO

UL: 6.75 (2x4) MIMO

DL: 30 (8x8) MIMO

UL: 15 (4x4) MIMO

Mobility support

Maximum data rates (<10 km/hr)

High performance (< 120 km/hr)
Maintain links (< 350 km/hr)

Maximum data rates (<15 km/hr)

High performance (< 120 km/hr)
Maintain links (< 350 km/hr)

Access Scheme



Cell edge spectral

efficiency (bps/Hz)

DL: 0.09 (2x2)

UL: 0.05 (1x2)

DL: 0.12 (4x4)

UL: 0.07 (2x4)

Further, the comparison of bitrates for Mobile WiMAX (3G and 4G) and
related 3GPP technologies is given in Table 2.10. Again, The given data rates in
table below are theoretically maximums.
In practice, the available bitrates to end mobile users depend upon several
factors, such as mobility, distance from the base station, capabilities of the
terminals, as well as number of users which simultaneously are using the same
mobile network.


Table 2.10 Mobile WiMAX vs. LTE-Advanced maximum speeds






(Release 8)

42 Mbit/s


2x5 MHz



(Release 10)

168 Mbit/s

46 Mbit/s

2x20 MHz
(each 4x5



LTE (Release 8)

300 Mbit/s

75 Mbit/s

2x20 MHz



3 Gbit/s

1.5 Gbit/s

2x100 MHz



Mobile WiMAX 1.5

(IEEE 802.16e)

141 Mbit/s

138 Mbit/s

2x20 MHz

WiMAX Forum


Mobile WiMAX 2.x

(IEEE 802.16m)

365 Mbit/s

376 Mbit/s

2x20 MHz

WiMAX Forum


Mobile WiMAX 2.x

(IEEE 802.16m)

>1 Gbit/s


2x100 MHz

WiMAX Forum


Mobile network


IEEE 802.16m introduces advanced features in the radio interface that are
similar to those introduced by LTE-Advanced, such as carrier aggregation,
femtocells, Self-Organizing Network (SON), relay, etc.
Carrier aggregation for IEEE 802.16m is based on the same principles
as the one given for LTE-Advanced, with same possible width of component
carriers. So, IEEE 802.16m provides carrier aggregation with up to 5 component
carriers, each carrier up to 20 MHz, and maximum spectrum allocation of up to
100 MHz, which satisfies the IMT-Advanced requirements for user bit rates.
Femtocell base stations are small-scale and low-cost devices installed in
subscribers' premises which enable high bitrates due to small distance between
the mobile devices and the femtocell base stations (similar to Home eNodeB). In
such scenario, the control of the radio functionalities and QoS provisioning to the
user is enabled by core network connections established over fixed broadband
access such as xDSL, PON, etc.
Self-Organizing Network (SON) defines neighbor discovery, interference
mitigation and load balancing features, which are particularly useful for femtocell
deployments due to difficulties for implementation of femtocell parameters in
unknown site locations (e.g., carrier frequency, transmitting power, etc.).
Relays increase coverage by closing blind areas in unfavorable radio
environments. Relay stations are simplified low-cost base stations with limited
capabilities which have repeater functionality. IEEE 802.16m supports multi-hop
relaying (i.e., relaying over several relay stations).

In general, all advanced features in the radio network are being supported
in parallel by both Mobile WiMAX 2.0 and LTE-Advanced.
Femtocells are viewed as a promising option for mobile operators to
improve coverage and provide high-data-rate services in a cost-effective manner.
The idea is to overlay low-power and low-cost base station devices, Femto-APs,
on the existing cellular network, where each Femto-AP provides high-speed
wireless connection to subscribers within a small range.
An example network structure for an WiMAX release 2 system with
Femto-APs is illustrated in Figure 2.18.

Figure 2.18. Illustration of WiMAX network with Femto-BS.


2.6. Interworking of WiFi and mobile broadband networks

As it was mentioned in the second and third sections, the IEEE 802.11 is a
set of media access control (MAC) and physical layer (PHY) specifications for
implementing WLAN (or Wireless Fidelity (WiFi)) computer communication in the
2.4, 3.6, 5 and 60 GHz frequency bands. The 802.11 family consist of a series of
half-duplex over-the-air modulation techniques that use the same basic protocol.
The most popular are those defined by the 802.11b and 802.11g protocols, which
are amendments to the original standard.
Furthermore, we will give short description of the performance advantages
that brings IEEE 802.11 standards and interworking of WiFi with the mobile
broadband networks. The IEEE 802.11n/ac/ad standards offers several technical
benefits over previous technology generations, which result in improved
throughput to clients, as well as greater reliability for legacy 802.11a/b/g clients.
In addition to providing higher bit rates (as was done in 802.11a, b, and g),
802.11n/ac/ad are making dramatic changes to the basic frame format that is
used by 802.11 devices to communicate with each other.
The next level is WiFi networks/service offered by 4G mobile broadband
operators themselves, often called as Carrier WiFi. In such cases there is a
likelihood that the connectivity between the two networks goes beyond signalling
and may have data connectivity as well. The most integrated model is using
converged solutions that offer both 4G and WiFi from the same box, for example,
small cells based on 4G technology converged AP solutions. This also is a more
likely scenario for small cell deployments.
In terms of levels of integration, the basic level is 4G devices
autonomously discovering a broadband WiFi network and connecting to it,
without any user intervention.
The next level is intelligent selection between 4G mobile broadband and
WiFi links based on operator policy. For example, operators may want to route
high QoS and their own services through 4G and offload best effort such as
browsing, downloads and OTT (over-the-top) services to WiFi.
An even higher level of interworking is providing seamless service
continuity between 4G and WiFi networks. This means that devices not only
automatically discover and connect to WiFi but also seamlessly transfer the data
sessions between the networks without users even noticing it.
The next level of interworking is supporting all the cases mentioned
before, additionally, combing the data from the two links/networks and making it
even more tight and robust. 3GPP is working on such advanced features in Rel.
11 and beyond.
No matter what the deployment model is or the level of interworking
supported, devices will always be in a unique position to select the best possible
access among 4G and the many WiFi links that they might see at any given time.
Finally, like end of this section, in the following figures the WiFi - 3G/4G
Interworking examples are given. First in Figure 2.19 Multi-dimensional WiFi
3G/4G mobile broadband interworking landscape is given.


Figure 2.19. Multi-dimensional WiFi-3G/4G interworking landscape.

Furthermore, in Figure 2.20 the seamless WiFi - 3G/4G interworking

evolution is shown. To note that ANDSF - Access Network Discovery and
Selection Function is defined in 3GPP and that the evolution shown here
represents the trend in commercialization. 3GPP supports Service continuity in
Rel 8 and Traffic selection in Rel. 10.

Figure 2.20. Seamless WiFi3G/4G interworking is evolving.


Figure 2.21. Ruckus SCG enabled handover and roaming with 3G 3GPP

To integrate WLAN with GTP based 3GPP networks in either 3G packet

core or EPC requires that the gateway (TTG/PDG) between WLAN and the
mobile core is GTP supported a GTP tunnel will be established for data flow.
Figure 2.21 shows the sample architecture of integrating WLAN and 3G mobile
cores and the roaming scenario. In this architecture, the GTP supported SCG
element acts as the SGSN to support seamless handover and roaming between
WLAN and mobile broadband networks.
Moreover, the WiFi interworking complements Easy WiFi Access by
allowing operators to integrate WiFi access with the Packet Core network,
providing harmonized and secure traffic handling for both mobile and WiFi
access. With packet core network integration an operator can gain improved
visibility and control over WiFi traffic and the customer experience. Furthermore,
users are able to reach their familiar 3G and 4G broadband services via both
mobile and WiFi accesses. This makes WiFi a truly integral part of mobile
broadband access.
Operators can extend interworking for both trusted (Figure 2.22) and
untrusted WiFi (Figure 2.23) networks and can control the traffic to ensure a
better customer experience across WiFi networks. In addition, the solution
enables selected WiFi users to be linked to operator functions like Charging,
Policy Control, Deep Packet Inspection, QoS and Lawful Interception.
Operators can also integrate WiFi access with the unified Evolved Packet
Core and IP Core network with enhanced WiFi functionality, improving usability,
security and mobility. This enables even closer control over traffic with seamless
network-controlled handovers between radio and WiFi even during roaming.
Session continuity assures that applications are not affected when the user
device moves between different WiFi networks as the same IP address is


Figure 2.22. Trusted WiFi access integration with the packet core network.

Figure 2.23. Untrusted WiFi access integration with the packet core network.

Voice over WiFi can be integrated with the Mobile Packet Core, allowing
harmonized and secure traffic handling for both mobile and WiFi access. This
enables features such as policy control and quality of service traffic
management. Operators can even offer voice call continuity (VCC) between the
Liquid Core and WiFi networks through SR-VCC and evolve towards VoLTE.
Finally, the growing mobile broadband data traffic, driven by high-end
smartphones and tablets, presents difficult strategic challenges to operators in
meeting demand with finite radio spectrum.
For many broadband operators, there is a real opportunity to address the
challenge by leveraging their existing Packet Core and Evolved Packet Core
infrastructure to integrate user-plane traffic from WiFi access. By balancing
selected customers mobile broadband traffic between the mobile broadband
network and Internet WiFi access points, operators can avoid congestion of their
cellular and backhaul networks. This in turn leads to reduced need for capital
expenditure and also helps to reduce operational costs.


2.7. QoS in IEEE wireless and mobile networks

So far, one concluded that main IEEE wireless and mobile networks are:
WiFi (IEEE 802.11 family of standards) and
WiMAX (IEEE 802.16 family of standards, for fixed and mobile one).
Mobile WiMAX is defined in two main versions.
Mobile WiMAX 1.x (IEEE 802.16e, belongs to 3G technologies), and
Mobile WiMAX 2.x (IEEE 802.16m, belongs to 4G technologies).
Both, WiFi and WiMAX are defined in the radio part only on physical and
data-link layers, while Internet technologies are used from the network layer up to
the application layer. Hence, all services transferred over WiFi or WiMAX are IPbased. Therefore, there is needed QoS differentiation between different service
types due to different requirements for bitrates, delays, etc.
In general, the QoS refers to the capability of a network to provide
differentiated service to selected network traffic over various network
technologies. QoS in wireless and mobile technologies provide the following
Provide building blocks for business multimedia and voice applications
used in campus, WAN, and service provider networks
Allow network managers to establish service-level agreements (SLAs)
with network users
Enable network resources to be shared more efficiently and expedite
the handling of mission-critical applications
Manage time-sensitive multimedia and voice application traffic to
ensure that this traffic receives higher priority, greater bandwidth, and
less delay than best-effort data traffic.
With QoS, bandwidth can be managed more efficiently across LANs,
including WLANs and WANs (Mobile WiMAX). QoS provides enhanced and
reliable network service by doing the following:
Supporting dedicated bandwidth for critical users and applications
Controlling jitter and latency (required by real-time traffic)
Managing and minimizing network congestion
Shaping network traffic to smooth the traffic flow
Setting network traffic priorities
From the IEEE wireless/mobile broadband technologies, WiMAX has
mandatory QoS framework which applies to fixed and mobile versions, while
WiFi has only optional QoS support.


2.7.1. QoS in WiFi

In the past, WLANs were mainly used to transport low-bandwidth, data
application traffic. Currently, with the expansion of WLANs into vertical (such as
retail, finance, and education) and enterprise environments, WLANs are used to
transport high-bandwidth data applications, in conjunction with time-sensitive
multimedia applications. This requirement led to the necessity for wireless QoS.
Several vendors have supported proprietary wireless QoS schemes for voice
applications. To speed up the rate of QoS adoption and to support multi-vendor
time-sensitive applications, a unified approach to wireless QoS is necessary.
The QoS is introduced with the WiFi amendment IEEE 802.11e.
QoS is defined as the measure of performance for a transmission system
that reflects its transmission quality and service availability. Service availability is
a crucial element of QoS. Before QoS can be successfully implemented, the
network infrastructure must be highly available.

Figure 2.24. MAC layer QoS enhancement schemes for IEEE 802.11-based wireless

Furthermore in Figure 2.24, the MAC layer QoS enhancement schemes

for IEEE 802.11-based wireless networks. As can be seen, the QoS
enhancements can also be classified in the terms of the DCF-based or the PCFbased enhancements. So the Figure 2.24 provides a taxonomy of DCF- and
PCF-based enhancements for both priority queuing and differentiated services.
As we mentioned before, the IEEE 802.11e standard is an important
extension of the IEEE 802.11 standard focusing on QoS that works with any PHY
implementation. The main feature of the IEEE 802.11e standard is that it
improves the MAC layer for QoS provisioning by providing support for: (i)


segregation of data packets based on priority requirements; (ii) negotiation of

QoS parameters through a central coordinator or AP; and (iii) admission control.
The IEEE 802.11e standard defines Hybrid Coordination Function
(HCF) which has two working modes:
Enhanced DCF Channel Access (EDCA): similar to DCF, but
provides different priority levels for different services.
HCF Controlled Channel Access (HCCA) is CSMA/CA (Carrier
Sense Multiple Access with Collision Avoidance) compatible polling
technique (like PCF, but with improvements).
In practice WiFi access points typically uses DCF (not PCF) on the
wireless link, hence the main approach for QoS introduction in WiFi will be EDCA
(as given above). Enhanced DCF Channel Access (EDCA) is based on traffic
differentiation by using prioritization, where higher priority traffic has a higher
probability of being sent than lower priority traffic (Figure 2.25).
The access to the wireless channel in ECDA is controlled with the
following four parameters:
Minimal size of the contention window (CWmin)
Maximal size of the contention window (CWmax)
Arbitration Interframe Space (AIFS) = variable DIFS. Shorter AIFS is
used for higher priority packets, and vice versa.
Transmission Opportunity (TXOP) it specifies maximum time interval
during which a wireless station can transmit frames back-to-back
(contention-free access).

Low priority



Middle priority



High priority





Contention Window


Figure 2.25. Illustration of EDCA in IEEE 802.11e for QoS support.

Enhanced DCF Channel Access (EDCA) provides service differentiation

of traffic into 8 different classes (Figure 2.26), where each wireless station has 4
access categories to provide service differentiation. Simply said, higher priority
AC can access the wireless link in shorter time period than lower priority AC by


using different AIFS (Arbitration Inter-Frame Spacing) for different ACs (shorter
AIFS for higher priority ACs and longer AIFS for lower priority ACs).
Table 2.11 Access Categories (AC) for IEEE 802.11e


Access Category (AC)


Best Effort

Best Effort

Best Effort

Video Probe









Virtual collisions

Figure 2.26. Virtual collisions of fours Access Categories (AC) that happen at the AP
(Access Point) that has IEEE 802.11e capabilities for QoS support


Access Categories (ACs) in IEEE 802.11e EDCA can be used over

different physical layers for WiFi (e.g., 802.11a/g, 802.11n, etc.). WiFi
Multimedia (WMM) Access Points have enabled EDCA and TXOP (in general,
QoS support for WiFi is optional). Default values for EDCA parameters per
Access /Category are given in Table 2.12
Table 2.12. Default EDCA Parameters for Access Categories (ACs)
Access Category








Best Effort





3.008 ms


1.504 ms

HCCA (Hybrid Coordination Function Controlled Channel Access) is

the other scheme for QoS support in IEEE 802.11e which extends the EDCA
access rules, by using the following parameters:
CP (Contention Period): TxOP given (After AIFS + Backoff).
QoS Poll: After PIFS.
CFP (Contention Free Period): TxOP given; Starting and duration
specified by Hybrid Coordinator (HC) using QoS Poll.
The comparison of HCCA and EDCA is shown in Figures 2.27 and 2.28.








Figure 2.27 Interrelation between different Inter-Frame Space intervals in WiFi in respect
of QoS schemes






Figure 2.28. HCCA and EDCA for WiFi QoS

Overall, HCCA is rarely used for QoS in WiFi. So, if QoS is needed in WiFi
network, 802.11e is implemented with its EDCA scheme. That way is possible to
provide VoIP over WiFi and even IPTV over WiFi with certain guarantees on
QoS, thus making possible WiFi to be used for offloading in mobile networks,
including 3GPP mobile networks and fixed and mobile WiMAX from the IEEE.

2.7.2. QoS in WiMAX

Regarding the QoS in Mobile WiMAX networks, they can provide QoS for
wireless and mobile broadband communications over an extended coverage
area for real-time delay-sensitive applications such as VoIP and real-time
streaming in stationary or mobile environments. It offers different access
methods for different classes of traffic. The IEEE 802.16e protocol is a
connection-oriented medium access control with service flows as well as a grantbased system which allows centralized control and eliminates overheads and
delay of acknowledgements. This in turn provides an effective QoS handling
which is fundamentally different from connectionless wireless protocols such as
IEEE 802.11. The IEEE 802.16 grant-based MAC can react to QoS requests in
real time which reduces the workload of the base stations and produces lower
overheads since connections are aggregated.
The 802.16 standard has three main methods for QoS provisioning:
Service Flow Classification (it relates to QoS classes, which is
further explained)
Dynamic Service Establishment, via signaling functions:
o Dynamic Service Activate (DSA): activates a service flow
o Dynamic Service Change (DSC): changes an existing service
o Dynamic Service Delete (DSD): deletes a service flow
Two-Phase Activation Model: admit first, then activate.


Each connection is assigned a unique Connection ID (CID) and a

Service Flow ID (SFID) with an associated service class. The upper part of the
MAC (Medium Access Control) maps data into a QoS service class. External
applications can request service flows with desired QoS parameters using a
named service class. When the application wants to send data packets, the
service flow is mapped to a connection using a unique CID.
The QoS framework in IEEE 802.16e (that is Mobile WiMAX release 1,
i.e., 3G Mobile WiMAX) is based on service flows, as shown in Figure 2.29.

Figure 2.29. QoS establishment between WiMAX mobile stations, WiMAX base stations
and ASN (Access Service Network) Gateway in WiMAX core network.

Different services are provided by using QoS Service Types in Mobile

WiMAX. In Table 2.13 are given all services types defined for fixed and mobile
WiMAX releases. However, one should that the Unsolicited Grant Service (UGS),
real-time Polling Service (rtPS), non-real-time Polling Service (nrtPS), and best
effort (BE), are defined for both Fixed WiMAX and 3G Mobile WiMAX (based on
IEEE 802.16e), while the service type Adaptive Granting and Polling (aGP) is
added with 4G Mobile WiMAX (based on IEEE 802.16m).
Each scheduling service is characterized by a mandatory set of QoS
parameters, which is tailored to best describe the guarantees required by the
applications that the scheduling service is designed for. Furthermore, for uplink
connections, it also specifies which mechanisms to use in order to request


Table 2.13. WiMAX QoS classes (including 3G and 4G mobile WiMAX).

Service flow type

Traffic type

Unsolicited Grant Service


Real-time traffic with periodic fixed-size packets, for TDM

services including VoIP

Real-time Polling Service


Real-time traffic with periodic variable-size packets; for

VoIP with silence suppression, IPTV

Extended rtPS (ertPS)

Real-time traffic with variable-size packets on a periodic

basis with active and silence intervals; for video and
multimedia streaming

Non-real-time Polling
Service (nrtPS)

Delay-tolerant traffic with minimum reserved rate; for file

transfers, web services

Best-Effort (BE)

No guarantees (best-effort Internet concept); for WWW,

email, peer-to-peer services, etc.

Adaptive Granting and

Polling (aGP)

More flexible QoS support for both allocation size and

inter-arrival time; for online games, VoIP with Adaptive
Multi-Rate (AMR), and delay-sensitive TCP-based

UGS is designed to support real-time applications (with strict delay

requirements) that generate fixed-size data packets at periodic intervals, such as
T1/E1 and VoIP without silence suppression. The guaranteed service is defined
so as to closely follow the packet arrival pattern (i.e., grants occurring on a
periodic basis), with the base period equal to the unsolicited grant interval and
the offset upper bounded by the tolerated jitter. Uplink grants are granted by the
BS regardless of the current estimation of backlog; hence, UGS connections use
the unsolicited granting bandwidth-request mechanism (i.e., UGS connections
never request bandwidth). The grant size is computed by the BS based on the
minimum reserved traffic rate, which is defined as the minimum amount of data
transported on the connection when averaged over time.
rtPS is designed to support real-time applications (with less stringent delay
requirements) that generate variable-size data packets at periodic intervals, such
as Moving Pictures Expert Group (MPEG) video and VoIP with silence
suppression. The key QoS parameters for rtPS connections are the minimum
reserved traffic rate, which has the same meaning as with UGS, and the
maximum latency, which upper bounds the waiting time of a packet at the MAC
layer. Since the size of arriving packets with rtPS is not fixed, as it is with UGStailored applications, rtPS connections are required to notify the BS of their
current bandwidth requirements. The BS periodically grants unicast polls to rtPS
connections. The polling period may be explicitly specified as an optional QoS
parameter, namely, the unsolicited polling interval. If it is not, then the BS is free
to use any optimized polling scheme, so that the maximum latency requirement
is met.


Unlike UGS and rtPS scheduling services, nrtPS and BE are designed for
applications that do not have any specific delay requirement. The main difference
between the two is that nrtPS connections are reserved a minimum amount of
bandwidth (by means of the minimum reserved traffic rate parameter), which can
boost performance of bandwidth-intensive applications, such as File Transfer
Protocol (FTP). Both nrtPS and BE uplink connections request bandwidth by
either responding to broadcast polls from the BS or piggybacking a bandwidth
request on an outgoing PDU. Additionally, the BS grants unicast polls to nrtPS
connections at a time-scale of one second or less.
IEEE 802.16m Advanced Air Interface (AAI), provides a more flexible
and efficient QoS framework with the introduction of adaptive Granting and
Polling (aGP) service. It provides quick access, delayed Bandwidth Request
(BR), and priority controlled access. The aGP was introduced in 4G Mobile
WiMAX because UGS, ertPS, and rtPS are not efficient for applications such as
online games, VoIP with adaptive multi-rate (AMR), and delay-sensitive TCP
based services, and therefore more flexible QoS scheduling service is needed to
support the adaptation of both the allocation size and inter-arrival.
Finally, one can conclude that the QoS plays a major role in the mobile
and wireless broadband networks, which are therefore important also in IEEE
mobile and wireless broadband networks. We have seen that the WiFi networks
are providing very high data rates, but less mobility (only nomadic mobility in a
local area) and on the other hand the Mobile WiMAX broadband networks are
providing a very high mobility, but not so high data rates in comparison with the
WiFi (WLANs). Logically, the combination of all IEEE mobile broadband
technologies, in particularly the WiFi and Mobile WiMAX networks, will result in a
mobile broadband networks with a very high data rate as well as mobility support
anywhere-anytime-on any mobile devices with both WiFi and WiMAX
capabilities. However, WiFi is the most spread wireless networks regarding the
number of installed APs on a global scale, while Mobile WiMAX is influenced by
competitive technologies from the 3GPP, which also support the QoS using
different frameworks than IEEE broadband technologies.


2.8. Business and regulation aspects of WiFi and WiMAX

The mobile broadband provides basis for converged service and contents
based on Internet technologies. However, the business and regulation aspects
for many services have influence on their development. For example, legacy
services such as telephony and television are being transferred from
PSTN/PLMN and broadcast TV networks to IP-based access and transport
networks in form of VoIP and IPTV, respectively. Other services such as WWW,
which are Internet-native and deployed in best-effort manner in the Internet, are
being used for development of broad range of services, such as web services,
Internet of Things (IoT) and Web of Things (WoT). The IoT/WoT has also impact
on the regulation and the business aspects of network and service providers, as
well as end-users and the society in a given country. All services are converging
onto IP-based networks infrastructure and broadband access (including fixed and
mobile/wireless access networks). That requires certain adaptation of existing
business and regulative environments (e.g., for legacy services) as well as
provision of new business models and regulation (where needed) in the
converged telecommunication world.
As all can recognize, the Mobile WiMAX is not a service which would fit in
the shoes of or replace any previously available services or technologies. The
operators venturing out on WiMAX need to recognize its potential and to create
new services, new domains of applications which not only attract users but also
generate entirely new sources of revenue. Hence the answer to the question Is
there is business case for Mobile WiMAX? is Yes; traditional services such as
VoIP, broadband, and data links alone make it viable in most situations. But
operators can create a bigger business opportunity by entering the domain of
community-based services such as instant messaging, presence, active
directories, video and audio blogging with IMPS, TV broadcast and multicast
services, video on demand and push video, music downloads, and mobile
broadband. In most cases, this will require the operators to venture into areas
which are multidisciplinary, such as design of mobile devices, software clients,
and network architectures that enable them to step out of legacy TDM-based
Furthermore, we can clearly say that there can be multiple business
models for the introduction of both Fixed WiMAX and Mobile WiMAX services. By
providing a wide coverage, instantly available connectivity, with QoS and
security, it is an enabler for many applications, which would otherwise be
unviable with wire-line connectivity. Examples of applications that can be
implemented using WiMAX are:
Private networks (bank ATMs, retail, remote display TV screens, etc.)
Video surveillance networks, public safety services
Tracking systems
Small business data services (ADSL equivalents)
Personal broadband
Mobile video multicast

Remote WiFi hotspot enabling

VoIP phones, video phones
User-generated content with high resolution

These services can be classified into different categories based on

requirements for bandwidth, latency, and jitter. These values are important as the
scheduling of service flows in Mobile WiMAX takes into account these
The model used would depend on the territories where such deployment
is done, the local regulations, and the existing infrastructure for
telecommunications and broadband services. Any deployments will depend on
the resources available and their costs such as licensed spectrum. In some
cases, such resources may actually permit or limit the capability of an operator to
offer such services.
On the other side, the costing of resources is an important driver of any
business plan. As in the case of any wireless technology, the ownership and
costs of licensed spectrum are the factors which have a major bearing on the
viability of a Mobile WiMAX network. Of course, it is also possible to use
unlicensed spectrum with IEEE 802.16-2004 technology, and this indeed is an
enabler of WiMAX connectivity in rural areas with low attendant costs. Moreover,
the use of unlicensed spectrum in urban areas has many limitations and a
commercial service is better provided with licensed spectrum.
Broadband spectrum in many countries is now priced attractively in order
to promote the growth of wireless access and is also more easily available than
the spectrum for 3G technologies, which is a competitor in some ways for the
broadband-based services.
The cost of the CPE is an important consideration for a viable business. It
is also important to identify and validate the type of CPEs which will be used in a
given network even though all the devices conforming to the WiMAX Forum
approved profiles and with certified equipment are expected to be able to
operate. The CPE devices which have initially become available are for the data
centric applications and may consist of either an outdoor unit mounted with the
antennas or an indoor unit with inbuilt antennas such as a WiMAX mobile
handset. A typical crash of the CPE prices, which follows a large volume growth,
is yet to be witnessed in the Mobile WiMAX arena.
The outlook for mobile WiMAX depends heavily on its success in
penetrating emerging markets. As Figure 2.30 illustrates, by 2014 the majority of
Mobile WiMAX connections comes from such markets.
On the other hand, Mobile WiMAX has applications in many other areas,
each of which can be a standalone business by itself. This includes applications
such as rural connectivity and VoIP, providing rural broadband over large areas,
providing dedicated networks for special applications such as security, data
gathering networks, bank networks, and many others. Owing to the large and
reliable coverage it replaces many applications which were earlier provided using
satellites. However, the biggest opportunity in the near term is to use these either
for enriching legacy applications for high-quality triple-play services or to provide


multicast video and on-demand services (VoD) for mobile devices. In the
medium to long term, a new ecosystem with open architecture mobile devices
paralleling the cellular mobile networks, but without the legacy architectures and
proprietary elements, is on the horizon. New players not currently owning
telecom networks are expected to take this initiative.

Figure 2.30. Worldwide Mobile WiMAX Connections.

Overall, competing head-to-head with existing players and technologies

requires deep pockets to expand the coverage footprint, while at the same time
spending heavily on marketing. In order to focus entirely on services, some
WiMAX operators have decided to opt for an approach more akin to that of a
mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) model.
Therefore, it is likely that Mobile WiMAX will remain a niche technology in
most developed markets. The greatest opportunities exist in the USA and
advanced markets of Asia. However, in all cases, the availability of the right
spectrum at the right price will be critical, as well as spread of the 3GPP mobile
technologies on the other side (which currently lead on a global scale).
Furthermore, regarding the regulation of the Mobile WiMAX, it is well
positioned to drive the global evolution towards pervasive mobile broadband
internet communications with market acceptance, rich ecosystems, and
promising economies of scale. On the other side, two essentials for a healthy
wireless and mobile broadband technology environment include well-developed
technology standards and a fair market regulatory environment with carefully
allocated spectrum resources.
The shift to 4G (towards Mobile WiMAX release 2) will be gradual, along
with continued operation and coexistence with fixed wireless and 3G mobile
WiMAX networks and services. At the same time, operators are vying for new
spectrum allocations to meet increasing network coverage and capacity
demands dictated by the mobile Internet. The Mobile WiMAX belongs to IMT
family, so the same IMT spectrum (Table 2.14) can be considered for IMT


technologies from IEEE and 3GPP (IMT currently includes IMT-2000 and IMTAdvanced families). However
Table 2.14 IMT spectrum



































external DL



Flexible usage of FDD and TDD




bands (TDD)








Uplink - UL

Paired bands (FDD)

Downlink - DL













Considering the spectrum, one can conclude that the spectrum reform is a
priority globally. This is driven in large part by the burgeoning of mobile
broadband and the progression towards 4G Mobile WiMAX (from the WiMAX
point of view, although its future is still not certain toward the long term vision
beyond 2020). Greater regulatory certainty around band re-planning and the
structure of new spectrum allocations is demanded as operators seek a firm


basis upon which to assess future bandwidth requirements and how they can be
met. Rearrangement of current bands allocated to mobile services and the
release of unallocated spectrum will present different challenges and degrees of
challenges in different nations. However, at the very least, all nations need to
move to auditing spectrum distribution and use across multiple bands and public
and private sector players.
On the side of WiFi, it is the most used technology worldwide for wireless
access to Internet in a local area network (e.g., home, office, public places, etc.).
Since a decade ago, public WiFi hotspots have appeared at many different
hotspots (e.g., airports, malls, hotels, cafeterias, even whole city areas were
covered with WiFi). However, WiFi is cheap, but it lacks mobility (no TDMA
support as 3G and 4G mobile broadband networks have, either from 3GPP or
WiMAX from the IEEE) and has limited QoS support (i.e., there are not exact
QoS guarantees possible, but mainly better service for one Access Category in
IEEE 802.11e than for other one). On the other side, WiFi Access Points are
cheap (since they do not TDMA support in the wireless link) and operate in the
unlicensed bands (no spectrum fees), hence they are irreplaceable nowadays
and together with Ethernet (IEEE 802.3) for fixed local access in the last meters,
provide unified local access to Internet. On the others side, certain operators use
WiFi networks for traffic offload from their mobile networks, especially in high
dense urban areas where capacity is scarce for the mobile broadband access.

Short summary
The mobile broadband with bitrates comparable with the fixed broadband
access is becoming reality with the 4G mobile networks.
LTE-Advanced and Mobile WiMAX 2.0 are 4G technologies providing
higher bitrates to end-users as well as many advances in radio network and in
the core network for higher quality of the services. However, in mobile
environments this goes along with allocation of more spectrum and mechanisms
for even higher spectral efficiency to have higher available bitrates in the future.
WiFi as low-cost technology in unlicensed spectrum is used for traffic
offload from 3G/4G mobile networks as well as for hotspot implementations.


3GPP 3rd Generation Partnership Project
3G Third Generation
4G Fourth Generation
5G Fifth Generation
AP Access Point
BTS Base Transceiver Station
BE Best Effort
CDN Content Delivery Network
COMP - Coordinated multi-point
DNS Domain Name System
ET Emergency Telecommunications
ETS Emergency Telecommunications Service
FI Functional Interface
GPS Global Positioning System
GTP GPRS Tunneling Protocol
HA Home Agent
HSPA High Speed Packet Access
IAM Identity and Access Management
ICT Information and Communication Technology
ID Identifier
IP Internet Protocol
IPv4 (IP version 4)
IPv6 (IP version 6)
ISP Internet service provider
IT Information Technology
LAN Local Area Network
LBS Location Base Service
LTE Long Term Evolution
LTS Location Trusted Server
MAUI Memory Arithmetic Unit and Interface
MVNO mobile virtual network operator
NRA National Regulatory Agencies
NTP Network Time Protocol
nrtPS non-real-time polling service
OS Operating System
P2P Peer-to-Peer
QoE Quality of Experience
QoS Quality of Service
rtPS real-time polling service
SIM Subscriber Identity Module
SLA Service Level Agreement
SMI Service Management Interface
UGS Unsolicited Grant Service
URI Uniform Resource Identifier


VoIP Voice over IP

WAN Wide Area Network
WiFi Wireless Fidelity
WiMAX Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access
WLAN Wireless Local Area Network
WRC World Radiocommunication Conference


[1] Toni Janevski, "Internet Technologies for Fixed and Mobile Networks", Artech House,
USA, November 2015.
[2] Toni Janevski, "NGN Architectures, Protocols and Services", John Wiley & Sons, UK,
April 2014.
[5] IEEE Computer Society and the IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society:
IEEE Std 802.16m-2011 Standard for local and metropolitan area networks, 2011.
[6] Wireless LAN Design Guide for High Density Client Environments in Higher ducation,
CISCO 2011
[7] Meraki White Paper: 802.11n Technology, February 2011.
[8] WLAN Security: Simplifying Without Compromising, Ruckus Wireless | White Paper,
[9] Eldad Perahia, Michelle X. Gong, "Gigabit Wireless LANs: an overview of IEEE
802.11ac and 802.11ad", Newsletter ACM SIGMOBILE Mobile Computing and
Communications Review, Volume 15 Issue 3, July 2011, Pages 23-33.
[10] IEEE 802.11ac: What Does it Mean for Test?, White Paper of LitePoint, A Teradyne
Company. 2012.
[11] What you need to know about 802.11ac, White Paper from Motorola Solutions, July
[13] 802.11ac: Very High Throughput, White Paper from Ruckus, February 2013.
[14] IEEE Std 802.11ad-2013, Part 11: Wireless LAN Medium Access Control (MAC)
and Physical Layer (PHY) Specifications, Amendment 3: Enhancements for Very High
Throughput in the 60 GHz Band, Institute of Electronic Engineers, December 2012
[15] IEEE Std 802.11ad-2013, Part 11: Wireless LAN Medium Access Control (MAC)
and Physical Layer (PHY) Specifications, Amendment 4: Enhancements for Very High
Throughput for Operation in Bands below 6 GHz, Institute of Electronic Engineers,
[16] IEEE 802.11n-2009Amendment 5: Enhancements for Higher Throughput. IEEESA. 29 October 2009.
[17] Broadcom corporation, 802.11n: Next-Generation Wireless LAN Technology, April
[18] Chris Thomas, Raj Jain, 802.16m and WiMAX Release 2.0, 2010.
[19] Yaghoobi, Hassan, "Mobile WiMAX Update and IEEE 802.16m," IEEE, 2009.
[20] A. Bacioccola, C. Cicconetti, C. Eklund, L. Lenzini, Z. Li, E. Mingozzi, "IEEE 802.16:
History, Status and Future Trends", Computer Communications, Volume 33, Issue 2,
Pages 113-123, 15 February 2010.


[21] Srinivasan, Roshni (ed), Hamiti, Shkumbin (ed), "IEEE 802.16m System Description
Document (SDD)," IEEE 802.16 Task Group m, September 2009.
[22] Shantanu Pathak and Shagun Batra, "Next Generation 4G WiMAX Networks - IEEE
802.16 Standard", Sundarapandian et al. (Eds), pp. 507518, CS & IT-CSCP 2012
[23] Bjoern Dusza, Christoph Ide and Christian Wietfeld, "A Measurement Based Energy
Model for IEEE 802.16e Mobile WiMAX Devices", IEEE 75th VTC 2012 - Spring.
[24] IEEE Std 802.16m-2011, (Amendment to IEEE Std 802.16-2009), IEEE 3 Park
Avenue, NY, USA, 6 May 2011.
[25] IEEE Computer Society and the IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society:
IEEE Std 802.16m-2011 Standard for local and metropolitan area networks, 2011.
[27] Shu-ping Yeh and Shilpa Talwar, "WiMAX Femtocells: A Perspective on Network
Architecture, Capacity, and Coverage", IEEE Communications Magazine, pp.:58-65,
October 2008.
[28] ABI Research, Femtocell Research Service, 2nd qtr., 2007.
[31] Broadcom corporation, 802.11n: Next-Generation Wireless LAN Technology, April
[32] Thomas Paul and Tokunbo Ogunfunmi , Wireless LAN Comes of Age:
Understanding the IEEE 802.11n Amendment, IEEE Circuits and Systems Magazine
Vol. 8(1), pp. 28-54, 2008.
[33] Ramjee Prasad, Luis Muoz, "WLANs and WPANs towards 4G Wireless", Artech
House, Boston, UK, 2003.
[37] Nokia, Siemens Networks, White Paper,WiFi integration with cellular networks
enhances the customer experience, Finland, 2012
[38] H. Chaouchi and A. Munaretto, Adaptive QoS management for IEEE 802.11 future
wireless ISPs, Wireless Networks, vol. 10, no. 4, pp. 413421, 2004.
[39] A. Ksentini, M. Naimi, A. Nafaa et al., Adaptive service differentiation for QoS
provisioning in IEEE 802.11 wireless ad hoc networks, in Proceedings of the 1st ACM
international workshop on Performance evaluation of wireless ad hoc, sensor, and
ubiquitous networks. ACM, 2004, pp. 3945.
[40] Aqsa Malik, et al. "QoS in IEEE 802.11-based Wireless Networks: A Contemporary
Survey", arXiv:1411.2852v1 [cs.NI] 11 Nov 2014.


[41] S. Choi, J. Del Prado, N. Sai Shankar, and S. Mangold, IEEE 802.11e contentionbased channel access (edcf) performance evaluation, in Communications, 2003.
ICC03. IEEE International Conference on, vol. 2. IEEE, 2003, pp. 11511156.
[42] Claudio Cicconetti, et al. "Quality of Service Support in IEEE 802.16 Networks",
IEEE Network, March/April 2006
[43] Wimax Security and Quality Of Service An End-To-End Perspective, Edited by
Seok-Yee Tang, et al. , A John Wiley and Sons, Ltd., 2010.
[44] Business Models For Wireless Internet Access, Heikki Hmminen, Editor,
Helsinki University of Technology Department of Electrical and Communications
Engineering Networking Laboratory.
[45] Doug Gray, "Mobile WiMAX: A Performance and Comparative Summary", WiMAX
Forum, September 2006.
[49] ITU, World Radiocommunication Conference 2015 (WRC-15): Agenda and Relevant
[50] Report ITU-R M.2290-0, "Future spectrum requirements estimate for terrestrial
IMT", December 2013.
[52] Amitabh Kumar, "Mobile Broadcasting with WiMAX", Focal Press, ISBN-13: 978-0240-81040-9, pp.: 508-527, April 7, 2008.