WiMAX Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access

White Paper
WiMAX is a wireless access technology for building networks with large coverage areas and high data rates, so-called Metropolitan Area Networks (MANs). It focuses on various usage scenarios for serving fixed, nomadic and mobile subscribers and incorporates a broad range of transmission and access technologies, which can be dynamically applied for serving these different types of subscribers. In addition, it provides mechanisms for giving Quality-of-Service (QoS) guarantees, and thus it is predestined for enabling real-time services like Voice over IP (VoIP), video on demand or multiplayer gaming.

1 Introduction
Broadband access is the main prerequisite for delivering highly sophisticated IT services to the end user, for example, video on demand, video conferencing, Voice over IP (VoIP) or interactive gaming. After the Internet and mobile communications reached the mass markets in the mid-1990s, it turned out very soon that existing network technologies such as the analog Plain Old Telephone System (POTS), the Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) or the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) could not fulfil the requirements imposed by these applications. The main reason for this lack was simply the fact that these systems were initially designed for speech telephony, which traditionally is a circuit-switched service of comparatively low bandwidth. As a result, standardization and manufacturers created enhancements and auxiliary technologies for bridging the gap between the capabilities of existing networks and the requirements of emerging applications. Examples are the Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) for delivering packswitched data at high rates over the telephone wire to the end user or the General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) for introducing packet-switched services in GSM networks. In the recent years, DSL has become the standard solution for fixed broadband access in the consumer market. However, it requires complex modifications on the infrastructure of telephony networks and is therefore often not available in rural environments with a low population density.
WiMAX — Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access

In the mobile area, on the other hand, the breakthrough of data services is still missing. GPRS has been introduced by all GSM operators in the meantime, but it suffers from low data rates and high delays. Even the Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS), which was introduced a few years ago as the successor of GSM and which actually targets also at packet-switched data, could not initiate a turn-around towards a broad acceptance of mobile data services so far. A new technology that specifically focuses on broadband access is called WiMAX (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access). It is a wireless technology that does not necessarily replace the systems mentioned before, but that at least acts as an extension, for example, in regions where other broadband technologies are not available or do not provide sufficient capacity or bandwidth. WiMAX has been designed for operation in a broad range of licensed and unlicensed frequency bands, thereby being much more flexible than cellular networks like GSM and UMTS, which are confined to operation in dedicated, licensed frequency bands being subject to regulation. WiMAX covers different usage scenarios, ranging from supporting mobile users to connecting LANs (Local Area Networks) to the Internet. To fulfil the heterogeneous requirements on data transmission imposed by these scenarios, WiMAX incorporates several physical layers with different modulation schemes, antenna designs and other features. Furthermore, WiMAX provides sophisticated functions for guaranteeing a certain quality1

This is illustrated in Figure 2. 2. and that is why this term is also used throughout this paper. which requires a cumbersome wiring inside buildings and fixed antenna installations at roofs of considerable height for guaranteeing LoS conditions to the next base station. Fixed WiMAX might also be used by a cellular network operator for realizing connectivity between the cell sites and the core network. it becomes possible to built WiMAX transceivers with integrated antennas. which are located at the cell sites of the WiMAX operator. The base stations. which can be connected directly to a PC or included into handheld devices or laptops. and mobility mechanisms. an important prerequisite for successful transmission is that a line-of-sight (LoS) path exists between subscriber and base station that is not obstructed by obstacles. Fixed WiMAX mal conditions.16”. but is expected to be much lower for WiMAX — Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access 2. WiMAX was designed only for fixed access. the IEEE has released another standard in April 2003.1 Fixed WiMAX Initially.2 Nomadic WiMAX The major drawback of Fixed WiMAX is the need for outdoor antennas at the subscriber. and the WiMAX customer can enter into contact from everywhere within the coverage area of a base station. However. Under opti2 .16a and which focuses on the nomadic WiMAX access. It defines a system for the wireless transmission between stationary senders and receivers in outdoor environments. As a result. Strictly speaking. A fixed-installed outdoor antenna is not necessary any longer. They are connected typically to a local network of the subscriber. for example. it may achieve transmission ranges of up to 70 km and data rates of up to 134 Mbps. The group within IEEE consigned with the specification of WiMAX is known under the identifier 802. Base station Subscriber station LoS ((( ((( Indoor network installation Figure 1. and hence WiMAX today incorporates a number of variants of these technologies. WiMAX is standardized by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). However. for example. Wireless Local Loop (WLL). even from the inside of buildings.of-service (QoS) during transmission. the term WiMAX has prevailed against “WirelessMAN” or “802.16. The maximum data rate.16 and denoted as Broadband Wireless Access Working Group. which is of particular importance for real-time or near real-time applications like VoIP or video streaming.16 standards family.75 and 20 MHz. see Figure 1. Fixed WiMAX has been designed for operation in a very broad frequency range between 10 and 66 GHz with bandwidths of 20. transmission technologies and basic services. Radio channels of Nomadic WiMAX occupy frequency bands in the range between 2 and 11 GHz. because frequency allocation and licensing are managed very irregular in different countries of the world and significantly vary in the size of frequency bands assigned to the operators. nomadic and mobile access. The main components of the system are base stations. In order to address these issues. for example. As radio signals above 10 GHz can hardly penetrate obstacles like buildings or hills. in form of PCMCIA cards. a WLAN or Ethernet installation inside the building. which only has been achieved in field tests so far.16 standards” [1]. In an alternative scenario. The first in a series of standards was released in December 2001 by IEEE and was called IEEE 802. The following sections give an overview of WiMAX and introduce its usages scenarios. which is an organization of more than 400 operators and manufacturers being concerned with “promoting and certifying the compatibility and interoperability of broadband wireless access equipment that conforms to the IEEE 802. medium access. the flexibility of nomadic access must be paid by a significant decrease in the transmission range and data rates when compared to Fixed WiMAX. The subscriber stations have antennas with dimensions comparable to those of satellite dishes. The term WiMAX stems from the WiMAX forum. Fixed WiMAX represents an interesting alternative to older or proprietary LoS radio systems of less bandwidth. Ethernet and WLAN (Wireless Local Area Network). The bandwidth has been kept variable. the same institution that is also responsible for standardization of other wired and wireless access technologies. modulation schemes. in the recent years. on the other hand. Thus. 25 or 28 MHz per radio channel. 2 WiMAX Usage Scenarios The WiMAX usage scenarios are commonly referred to as fixed. which is called IEEE 802. which in contrast to higher frequencies allow for nonlight-of-sight (NLoS) transmissions between subscriber and base stations and vice versa. is about 70 Mbps. and they are covered by different documents of the IEEE 802. the official term for WiMAX is actually Wireless Metropolitan Area Network (WirelessMAN™). A radio channel of nomadic WiMAX occupies a bandwidth between 1. for example. may be interconnected to public networks like the Internet or to private ones. which are usually installed at the roofs of buildings at the WiMAX customers. The coverage area of a base station is limited to a radius of 5 km. and subscriber stations. The scenarios impose very different requirements on the used frequency bands.

Base station Base station Handover Subscriber station NLoS Subscriber station Figure 2. where the connection to the target base station is established before the old connection is released (“make-before-break”). cable modem or T1 access. also incorporates other mobility functions (see also Figure 3). which.3 Mobile WiMAX A drawback of Nomadic WiMAX is that a service session can only be maintained as long as the subscriber resides in the coverage area of the base station where this session has been initiated. Mobile WiMAX a so-called hard handover. Finally. the service session is transferred to the target base station by WiMAX — Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access 3 . while related products and services for the mass market have been announced to become available in 2007. a process which is called handover. and hence the available bandwidth must be shared among all subscribers residing in the particular cell. It implements a soft-handover. which often suffer from the unavailability of wired broadband technologies like DSL. In PMP.16-2004 standard. that is. needs to be pushed to a subscriber. This type of handover is characterized by the fact that the connection to the serving base station is terminated before a new one to another target base station is initialized (“break-before-make”). and is called IEEE 802. the session is terminated and must be re-initiated at the new base station. In June 2004. Both Fixed and Nomadic WiMAX can be operated in two modes. which are referred to as point-to-point (PTP) and point-to-multipoint (PMP) modes.16 and 802.16-2004 [2] and replaces the former versions IEEE 802. The resulting standard document is called IEEE 802. which can exclusively use the entire bandwidth of the radio channel. for example. The specification for Mobile WiMAX has been released as an amendment to the 802. However. incoming Emails. on the other hand. an interruption of the data transfer. Mobile WiMAX defines different power-saving modes to which the device changes if there is no data transmission in progress and which thus contribute to a significant reduction of battery consumption when compared to devices used for fixed or nomadic access. Nomadic WiMAX networks operating under real conditions. 2. and first WiBro networks went into operation in 2005. while PMP is the preferred choice for nomadic access. Mobile WiMAX comes up with improved modulation and error correction schemes. Mobile WiMAX envisages two access modes. which are called portable and mobile access. Besides these handover mechanisms. which enable to determine from the set of all base stations a WiMAX network is made up of the base station the target subscriber is currently attached to and which are necessary whenever network-initiated data. If the subscriber moves from one coverage area to that of another base station. a base station supplies several subscriber stations at once. The PTP mode is primarily intended for Fixed WiMAX. As a result. on the other hand. Mobile WiMAX includes location management functions. this reduced latency must be paid by a much higher complexity in the hardware. Furthermore. It emerged from the Korean WiBro (Wireless Broadband) technology. When changing the cell. In November 2004. An automatic transfer of the session from the serving to another target base station. has been designed for supporting customers travelling at velocities of up to 125 km/h. it was decided to adopt the WiBro technologies for Mobile WiMAX and to keep both systems compatible to each other. Frequency licensing and first commercial trials for WiMAX in many countries started in 2005. as data transmission in mobile networks is always exposed to varying radio propagation conditions. The missing support of mobile subscribers has led to initiatives for creating Mobile WiMAX. is not possible in Fixed or Nomadic WiMAX systems. The mobile access mode. a base station serves only a single subscriber station. the customer experiences a short degradation in the quality of service. standardization activities for Fixed and Nomadic WiMAX were merged. WiBro is being standardized by the Korean Telecommunications Technology Association (TTA). A soft handover happens seamlessly from the point of view of the customer and has a much lower latency than a hard handover. until the handover is completed. The portable access mode serves customers travelling at pedestrian speeds. Figure 3. it is expected that Fixed and Nomadic WiMAX will be requested especially by customers residing in rural areas. Since 2004. besides various handover mechanisms. which is being developed since the beginning of the millennium by the Korean telecommunications industry under significant participation of Samsung Electronics. In the former. Starting from this time.16e [3].16a.

or for nomadic customers.Difference to other Systems The emergence of Mobile WiMAX networks expected for the next years imposes the question of how this system relates to classical wireless technologies like WLAN. GSM was initially designed for circuit-switched speech telephony only and data rates of the packet-switched GPRS are limited to about 60 kbps (depending on the capabilities of the used terminal and the configuration of the serving network). The data rate supported by most WLAN installations today is about 54 Mbps and is thus beyond of what the typical Mobile WiMAX subscriber can expect.11 or Ethernet 802. On the other hand. Some characteristic features of them are highlighted in the following sections. For mobile customers. causes noticeable interruptions during transmission and only works at very low speeds. Other than WLAN and WiMAX. which is called duplexing. however. or browsing the Internet via the Wireless Application Protocol (WAP). WirelessMAN-SCa. the related protocols and mechanisms used for this are out of scope of the IEEE specifications for WiMAX. when a PC or notebook needs to be connected to a DSL modem.11) (IEEE 802. Roaming enables customers to request and use services in foreign networks. A single network usually spans an entire country.11 offer network access. customers on the move experience a nearly seamless world-wide mobility support that no other network technology can provide today. these networks provide services with a maximum of 384 kbps. 3 WiMAX Protocol Stack The WiMAX specifications do not define an entire network infrastructure or high-level services as known from telecommunications systems like GSM or UMTS. For the different variants of WiMAX several physical layers are envisaged. and a couple of them may be interconnected to a so-called extended service set for providing larger areas with seamless coverage. The answer to this question is not clear yet and has led to controversies among experts whether WiMAX is rather a competing or complementary technology. and it consists of many locally operating access networks that are interconnected via a common core network. including handover. in contrast to WiMAX is limited to local environments. GSM and UMTS. predominantly inside buildings. but do not move considerably. WLANs according to the IEEE standards family 802. WLAN is the preferred choice whenever an expensive wiring inside buildings should be avoided. A cell change is supported by a handover function. Mobile WiMAX may be classified as a technology that bridges the gap between traditional cellular networks (seamless mobility support and comparatively low data rates) on the one hand and local wireless technologies like WLAN (high data rates. however. however. for example. As suggested by its name. The physical layer primarily deals with the representation of data bits by radio signals.4 Mobile WiMAX . The resulting protocol stack is depicted in Figure 5. GSM and UMTS provide full mobility support. which require high data rates on the spot. WirelessMANOFDM and WirelessMAN-OFDMA. Similar to WiMAX. GSM and UMTS only support moderate data rates when compared to those that can be achieved with Mobile WiMAX. As GSM and UMTS in the meanwhile are offered by over 700 network operators in 214 countries and territories. however. Furthermore. Mobile WiMAX . for which different modulation schemes are envisaged. which are called WirelessMAN-SC. They only fix an access technology for connecting subscriber stations over the so-called last mile to a base station. which may be extended to up to 14 Mbps if UMTS is combined with a new technology known as Highspeed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) and Highspeed Uplink Packet Access (HSUPA) respectively. which. from a today's perspective. In order to get an idea about the role of Mobile WiMAX in the orchestra of wireless consumer technologies it might be helpful to consider these systems regarding their data rates and mobility support capabilities. Data rates in UMTS are considerably higher.3. WiMAX covers only the physical (PHY) and medium access (MAC) layers and is thus in close compliance to other IEEE specifications like WLAN 802.16e) Mobile WiMAX HSDPA/ HSUPA UMTS GSM/ GPRS Mobility Figure 4. This base station then provides interconnectivity with a fixed network. Data rates and was one of the main driving forces behind the success of GSM. traditional cellular systems like GSM and UMTS realize several high-level services such as speech and video telephony. In the first network expansion stage. In terms of the seven layers of the OSI protocol stack. the medium access layer provides mechanisms that define how a radio channel provided by the physical layer is shared between different subscriber stations. see Figure 4. and incorporates methods for error correction and detection. transfer of short messages. The primary goal of medium access is to avoid collisions that would occur when two or more subscriber WiMAX — Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access WLAN (IEEE 802. which only provide network access capabilities. comparable to DSL in the wired domain.Difference to other systems 4 . it manages the separation of uplink and downlink transmission. as it is very difficult and expensive to build a WLAN that seamlessly cover larger outdoor areas.2. Due to its limited mobility support. A WLAN access point has a typical range of a few hundreds of meters (rather only a few dozens of meters indoors). but only rudimentary mobility functions) on the other. To draw a conclusion. WLAN is less suited. localization and roaming capabilities. as well as with related aspects like antenna technologies and power control. which.

“11”. Of particular concern is the symbol rate. and 315°. 256-QAM). one or several of these parameters are changed depending on the data to be transmitted. data bits are represented in form of symbols. Unmodulated Carrier Symbol duration T Q 10 00 11 01 I 00 (45° shift) 10 (135° shift) 11 (225° shift) 01 (315° shift) Figure 6. which is referred to as Quality of Service (QoS). either the symbol rate must be increased or the number of bits per symbol must be increased by using another modulation scheme. In each modulation scheme. which denotes the number of symbols transmitted per second. and WiMAX provides adequate mechanisms to fulfil them. This performance can be described by several parameters. Two specific convergence sub-layers so far exist. each symbol only carries a single bit. The number of bits per symbol can be further increased by changing the signal’s amplitude in addition. As can be derived from Figure 5. The symbol rate is an important measure for the bandwidth the signal adopts in the frequency domain. WiMAX incorporates a multitude of modulation schemes. 225°. IP) MAC convergence sub-layer MAC common part MAC privacy sub-layer Medium access layer (MAC) Physical layer (PHY) Figure 5. This receiver then interprets the incoming signal and recovers the data bits originally sent.WiMAX { Network layer (e. the transmitter genWiMAX — Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access erates a single carrier of a certain amplitude. VoIP and web browsing. and is finally caught by another antenna. 64 and 256-ary QAM (16-QAM. for example. frequency and phase. which is called demodulation. WiMAX Protocol Stack stations use the same radio resources at the same time. the so-called signal state. The resulting signal is then emitted by the antenna connected to the transmitter. while the latter makes the signal more susceptible to interferences. which can be dynamically deployed under consideration of the error characteristics of the radio channel and the required data rates. The modulation of a carrier with QPSK is demonstrated in Figure 6. propagates in the environment. WiMAX envisages different variants of phase shift keying. and phase. is called modulation or. one needs a modulation scheme that defines more signal states. which is called Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (QAM). jitter (variation in delay) and error rates. 135°. WiMAX supports 16. antennas. delay. The former provides the usual security mechanisms needed for the authentication of subscribers. This is due to the fact that with an increasing number of symbols the signal states need to be spaced closer and closer together. which is known as carrier. impose different requirements on QoS.1 Modulation Schemes Modulation is a process to represent data by changing the parameters of a periodic sinusoidal electromagnetic wave. Its main task is the encapsulation and decapsulation of external Protocol Data Units (PDUs) into and from socalled Service Delivery Units (SDUs). which is connected to a receiver. The higher the symbol rate. The former spreads the bandwidth of the radio channel. the exchange of key and the ciphering of messages. and each symbol is given by a certain constellation of the carrier’s amplitude. Different applications. Thus. among them data rate. referred to as MAC privacy sub-layer and MAC convergence sub-layer. error correction schemes and frame formats used for WiMAX. Quadrature Phase Shift Keying (QPSK) fixes four signal states and thus represents two bits by one symbol. one for carrying data of packet-switched networks like IPv4 or IPv6 and another one for connecting to networks being operated according to the Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM). as mentioned before. “01”. multimedia streaming. which represent 4. For transferring more bits per symbol. For data transmission. The simplest variant is Binary Phase Shift Keying (BPSK) and modulates data by shifting the carrier phase between two signal states. The four symbols “00”. 64QAM. frequency. Modulation of a carrier with QPSK 5 . which are exchanged between subscriber and base station. one representing the binary “1” and the other the binary “0”. which. and “10” are assigned to the carrier phases 45°. using an alternative term. For increasing the data rate.. The convergence sub-layer acts as an interface between external non-WiMAX protocols and the WiMAX medium access layer. Single Carrier Modulation In a single carrier modulation scheme. The data rate is the product of symbol rate and bits carried per symbol. Figure 7 shows the signal states of 64-QAM. the common part of the medium access layer is supplemented by two sub-layers. Another important focus is on control mechanisms for guaranteeing a certain performance of data transmission. shift keying. 6 and 8 bits by one symbol. the more bandwidth is required and vice versa. 4. 4 WiMAX Physical Layer This section highlights the physical layer and gives an overview of modulation schemes.g. The convergence sub-layer is also responsible for bandwidth allocation and the adherence of negotiated QoS parameters. and hence even small interferences during the propagation may result in misinterpretations of the incoming signal at the receiver.

The travelling time of a signal impulse corresponds to the length of the path at which it propagates from the transmitter to the receiver. The symbol duration denotes the length of time a single symbol is transmitted. shadowing by buildings and. each sub-carrier occupies the N-th part of bandwidth of the entire radio channel. and the data stream to be sent is distributed over these subcarriers. As mentioned before. Single carrier modulation works similar as in Fixed WiMAX. noise. which are called Doppler shifts and which are caused by movements of the mobile subscriber station during transmission. for example. As a result. This phenomenon is called intersymbol interference and is one of the main sources for transmission errors. this phenomenon arises if a signal is reflected. the symbol duration at each sub-carrier is N times larger compared to the symbol duration of a conventional single carrier modulation. scattered and diffracted from and at obstacles like buildings. As suggested by its name. which result from out-of-band radiation in the frequency bands below and Figure 8. multipath propagation. one of the main motivations behind the development of Nomadic and Mobile WiMAX was to enable NLoS transmission. the antennas of subscriber and base stations must be adjusted for LoS transmission. radio signals in these systems are reflected and scattered for several times until they reach the receiver. The total symbol rate of the radio channel remains the same. trees or hills. 64-QAM signal states Single carrier modulation is used for Fixed and Nomadic WiMAX and is part of the physical layers WirelessMANSC and WirelessMAN-SCa. attenuation. As depicted in Figure 9b. multi carrier modulation may suffer from socalled side lobes in the frequency domain.Q 100000 100010 101010 101000 001000 001010 000010 000000 100001 100011 101011 101001 001001 001011 000011 000001 100101 100111 101111 101101 001101 001111 000111 000101 100100 100110 101110 101100 001100 001110 000110 000100 110100 110110 111110 111100 011100 011110 010110 010100 I 110101 110111 111111 111101 011101 011111 010111 010101 110001 110011 111011 111101 011001 011011 010011 010001 110000 110010 111010 111000 011000 011010 010010 010000 Figure 7. A radio channel has a bandwidth of 20. For Nomadic WiMAX. which can be deployed depending on the error characteristics of the radio link and the desired data rates.75 and 20 MHz. Nomadic and Mobile WiMAX apply a technique known as multi carrier modulation. in the case of Mobile WiMAX. Multi Carrier Modulation There are multiple error sources a radio signal is exposed to during transmission. intersymbol interferences are avoided. The delay between arrival of a signal’s primary impulse and the arrival of its last secondary impulse is called delay spread. As a consequence. Multipath propagation may cause heavy interferences if the symbol duration T used during transmission is smaller than the delay spread. but also several delayed secondary impulses of it as shown in Figure 9a. but because each sub-carrier transmits only the N-th part of the entire data. Of particular concern in WiMAX as well as in all other wireless networks with large data rates and long transmission ranges is multipath propagation. Nomadic WiMAX focuses on NLoS transmission and has therefore been developed for operation in frequency ranges between 2 and 11 GHz. and the supported modulation schemes are QPSK. Intersymbol interference does not represent a serious problem for Fixed WiMAX. Multipath propagation WiMAX — Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access . As depicted in Figure 8. single carrier modulation is only optional. in multi carrier modulation a single radio channel of a certain bandwidth is subdivided into N sub-carriers. and its size significantly depends on the range of the transmitter and the density of obstacles in the close surrounding. and thus it is only suitable for LoS transmission. and thus it corresponds to the reciprocal of the symbol rate. Following this approach. but has been extended by BPSK and 256-QAM. Fixed WiMAX operates in the frequency ranges between 10 and 66 GHz. the signal is copied during transmission. and a significant delay spread does not occur. and the receiver not only receives the primary impulse of a signal. where effects of multipath propagation hardly appear and where radio signals are increasingly radiated in a directional fashion from the emitting antenna. In order to cope with the resulting intersymbol interferences. However. The longer the ranges and the higher the density of obstacles at which the signal is reflected and scattered. frequency deviations. The channel bandwidth is scalable and may vary between 1. the delayed secondary impulses of a symbol may destruct the impulses of subsequent impulses if the symbol duration is much smaller than the delay spread. as these networks operate above 10 GHz. assuming N is chosen sufficiently large However. Accordingly. the larger is the delay 6 spread. As consequence. 16-QAM and 64-QAM. because the symbol duration on each sub-carrier is larger than the expected delay spread. 25 or 28 MHz.

WirelessMAN-OFDMA. In WirelessMAN-OFDM. OFDMA 7 . The channel can adopt different bandwidths between 1.Symbol duration T Delay spread Power Power Symbol duration T Delay spread Secondary impulses Primary impulse of symbol n Secondary impulses Time Primary impulse of symbol n+1 Primary impulse of Primary impulse of Primary impulse of symbol n symbol n+1 symbol n+2 Time (a) Delay spread without intersymbol interferences (b) Delay spread with intersymbol interference Figure 9. sub-channelization is mandatory for both directions. but they can distort the transmission in neighbouring sub-carriers. For example. thereby saving valuable battery resources. These side lobes do not carry any useful information that is needed for interpreting the incoming signal at the receiver. the sub-carriers are placed orthogonal to each other in the frequency domain. OFDMA fn fn+1 fn+2 fn+3 fn+4 Main lobes Side lobes has also advantages regarding power control and battery consumption. The remaining ones are needed for frequency synchronization (pilot sub-carriers) or as guard bands (NULL sub-carriers) for avoiding neighbour channel interferences that result from side lobes of adjacent radio channels. may concentrate transmit power in a few sub-carriers by OFDMA. A pair of sub-carriers is said to be orthogonal if the frequency space between them is given by 1/Ts Hz. The physical layers envisaged for Nomadic and Mobile WiMAX incorporate different variants of OFDM and OFDMA respectively. An important concern when using multi carrier modulation is therefore to select an appropriate frequency space between the sub-carriers. out-of-band radiation in the side lobes neutralize each other. a technique that is called Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM). Instead of using all sub-carriers the radio channel consists of. Subscriber stations. OFDM has been extended with a feature called sub-channelization. It can be used in different configurations that differ from each other regarding the fragmentation of the OFDM radio channel into sub-channels. As depicted in Figure 10. the radio channel is subdivided into 256 sub-carriers. which is very bandwidth efficient when compared to a non-orthogonal multi carrier modulation. and hence the signals are less susceptible to intersymbol interferences. each of which can be modulated with QPSK. only 192 carry user data. which is especially of advantage for small. multiple users can share the same OFDM channel simultaneously. and therefore this variant of OFDM is called Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access (OFDMA). In this way. In contrast to WirelessMAN-OFDM. OFDM allows the overlapping of the main lobes of neighbouring sub-carriers. see Figure 11. In WiMAX. From the 256 sub-carriers. the advantage of orthogonality is that the peak of a subcarrier’s main lobe corresponds to the zero crossings of the neighbouring sub-carriers. Furthermore. subdivides the radio channel into 2048 sub-carriers. on the other hand. in turn. sub-channelization in OFDM is basically a multiple access scheme. mobile devices with integrated subscriber station as intended for Mobile WiMAX. Therefore. and the transmission in a sub-carrier have no negative impacts on its neighbouring sub-carriers. is composed of several sub-carriers. where Ts represents the symbol duration on each sub-carrier. OFDM WiMAX — Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access Figure 11. on the other hand. a transmitter may send on only one or several selected sub-channels. 16-QAM or 64-QAM. Delay spread and intersymbol interference above each sub-carrier. Mobile WiMAX adopts the WirelessMAN-OFDMA physical layer. base stations can increase the transmit power on sub-channels serving indoor subscriber stations. the symbol duration on each sub-carrier is much longer here than in WirelessMAN-OFDM. For this purpose. but introduces a new feature that is called ScalOFDM channel SubSubSubSubchannel 1 channel 2 channel 3 channel 4 Guard bands Guard bands 1/T Frequency Figure 10. and each sub-channel. and decrease it for subscriber stations staying outdoors or in the close surrounding of the base station.75 and 20 MHz. Thus. Sub-channelization is only applied on an optional basis for transmissions in the uplink. In this way. and hence they can be arranged very close together. The OFDM radio channel is subdivided into several sub-channels.

While in Nomadic WiMAX. WiMAX incorporates two different multiple-antenna technologies. because interferences on a certain path may be compensated by the transmissions received from another path. The transfer of different data streams. Unfortunately. The antennas can be dynamically adjusted to radiate power in a certain direction under consideration of the subscribers’ positions within the coverage area and the current conditions of multipath propagation. in SOFDMA the number of sub-carriers is scaled in dependence on the channel bandwidth. Most wireless systems today follow a single-antenna approach. but is less robust. which either radiates power in all directions equally (omnidirectional antenna) or which concentrates power in a beam of a certain direction and width (directional antenna) for serving only the sector of a radio cell. each radio transmission suffers from the appearance of error bursts. The former approach makes the transmission more robust. This is accomplished by calculating redundant data from the data stream. which suffer from rapidly changing radio conditions. a process that is known as interleaving.25 and 20 MHz. which are characterized by a large number of errors occurring in consecutive bits. It is primarily intended for fixed and nomadic subscribers. For this purpose. assuming that their beams are sufficiently separated in space. Comparison of AAS and MIMO 8 . As a result. Furthermore. The generation of output bits is realized by combining (convolving) the outputs of several linear feedback shift registers in a certain manner. The lower the code rate is. and generates a parity word for each block that is attached to it. which are called Adaptive Antenna System (AAP) and Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO).2 Antennas Besides multi carrier modulation. the spacing between sub-carriers and the symbol durations remain constant for varying channel bandwidths. Signals from the different antennas are radiated in a way that they travel at different paths from the sender to the receiver. it can be distinguished between block and convolutional codes. which reduces the system complexity needed for smaller channels and improves the performance of wider ones. the coverage area can be increased and interferences eliminated. the number of sub-carriers remains constant irrespective of the channel bandwidth. but the lower is the net data rate that can be achieved at the radio channel. increases the capacity. redundant copies of the data stream or they might be used to transfer different data streams to the receiver. or transmissions from different paths may be combined at the receiver to get a useful signal. the output bits generated by error coding can be mixed prior to transmission. The former technique is based on beamforming and generates a beam that is directed towards a subscriber or a group of subscribers staying close by. WiMAX applies different error coding schemes. and their deployment and parameters depend on the physical layer used. For WiMAX. The type of block code used in WiMAX is called Reed-Solomon code. 4. resulting in a block of size m bits (m>n) that is then further processed. the different transmitters connected to a multi-antenna array can independently transmit different data streams on the same radio channel. This option is the preferred choice for serving mobile subscribers.able-OFDMA (SOFDMA). Block coding subdivides the data stream into blocks of n bits. on the other hand. The quality of error coding can be measured by the maximum number of errors that can be corrected in a data block or stream of fixed size and whether error bursts or only single-bit errors can be corrected. the WiMAX standards envisage to dynamically fix an appropriate code rate under consideration of the expected degree of interferences. where base stations and subscriber stations are equipped with several highly directional antennas (arranged in a so-called multi-antenna array). which expresses the number of output bits per input bit. Therefore. In general. Because the power is concentrated into a beam of small width. 4. the data stream is subdiWiMAX — Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access (a) Adaptive Antenna System (b) Multiple Input Muliple Output Figure 12. on the other hand. The different paths may either carry the same. utilizes the effects of multipath propagation and is the preferred choice in cluttered environments. MIMO. Both of them are compared in Figure 12. Because it is difficult or even impossible in many cases to correct such errors. Convolutional coding takes n bits from a continuous input data stream and maps them onto m bits of an output stream. each of it connected to a dedicated transmitter and receiver respectively. the usage of intelligent multiple-antenna architectures is envisaged.3 Channel Coding The goal of channel coding is to prepare the data stream to be transmitted in a manner that errors that may occur during transmission can be reliably detected and corrected at the receiver. where each base station is connected to a single antenna. which can vary between 1. This technique is known as Space Division Multiplexing (SDM) and increases the capacity within a radio cell linearly with the number of antennas deployed. These capabilities mainly depend on the algorithms used for error correction as well as on the code rate r=n/m. another key factor for making the transmission more robust and for achieving high data rates is the choice of an appropriate antenna technology. Error correction mechanisms reliably detect and correct errors. the higher is the probability that errors can be corrected.

Two fundamental approaches exist. A challenge of TDD is to avoid an overlapping between downlink and uplink subframes. only their common elements are explained here. uplink and downlink subframes must be separated by guard periods during which no transmission is allowed. In order to improve robustness. A transmission frame is subdivided into downlink and uplink subframes. the original bit sequence is then reassembled by a de-interleaving process. FDD can be operated in full duplex (FD) or half duplex (HD) mode. 10 or 20 ms. and the consecutive bits of a code word are exchanged with the bits of previous and subsequent words according to a certain algorithm. basically the same format is used: the downlink and uplink subframes shown in Figure 15 are assigned to different radio channels for 9 Figure 13. To cope with this problem. The following section gives a more detailed overview of the structure of transmission frames used for FDD and TDD. 4. WiMAX supports different options for error coding. Their uplink and downlink bursts must be arranged in a way that they do not overlap. which. Figure 13 depicts a two-step error coding process that applies both block and convolutional coding. Nevertheless. However. At the receiver. a convolutional coding process is then applied in the last step. which can only be avoided by using frequency filters. which require less regulatory and organizational constraints. Both FDD and TDD are available for all physical layers of WiMAX. it is recommended to arrange uplink and downlink far away from each other in the frequency domain. which is commonly referred to as duplexing. FDD is the preferred solution for regulated operation in licensed frequency bands. It must also be considered that their uplink bursts are not in conflict with broadcast transmissions from the base station. and each frame. Therefore. a major problem of FDD is that the transmission power of an outgoing signal is much higher than the received power of an incoming signal. there exists a dedicated radio channel for each direction. Thus. For FDD. SS #2 and #3. where subscriber stations do not receive and transmit at the same time. the transmitter encodes the data stream with a Reed-Solomon code. The resulting blocks together with their parity words are then interleaved. which is used by the base station to supply all subscriber stations with control information. Therefore. that is. there is a dedicated data burst for broadcast transmissions. one on the downlink channel for receiving data from the base station and another on the uplink channel for transferring data to the base station. Both uplink and downlink channels are subdivided into frames of a certain duration. The overlapping may result from the fact that different subscriber stations are located at different distances to the base station. which is demonstrated in Figure 14a. error bursts occurring during transmission are distributed over several code words. in turn. which are called Transmit/Receive Transition Gap (TTG) and Receive/Transmit Transition Gap (RTG) and during which no data transmission is allowed. In FDD mode. A frame consists of a downlink and uplink subframe and lasts 5. uplink and downlink are separated in the frequency domain. Figure 15 shows a simplified version of the frame structure as used for the TDD mode. This will be explained in subsequent sections. In full duplex. which are called Frequency Division Duplex (FDD) and Time Division Duplex (TDD) and which are both supported in all WiMAX variants. The decoding steps at the receiver are then executed in reverse order. which is also called inner coding. and can thus send and receive simultaneously. In addition. In the first step. they are subdivided into single bit errors that can be corrected in most cases.5 Frame Format The physical layers of WiMAX come along with different frame formats. which. while TDD is primarily deployed in unlicensed bands. each of it consisting again of a number of data bursts assigned to different subscriber stations. Block coding (Outer coding) Interleaving Convolutional Coding (Inner coding) 4. however. Channel coding in WiMAX Figure 14b demonstrates full and half duplex modes for different subscriber stations. only slightly differ from each other. the stations can send and receive simultaneously. (a) Frequency Divsion Duplexing (FDD) Downlink frame n xx MHz BC SS#1 (VD) SS#2 (HD) SS#3 (HD) BC Downlink frame n+1 SS#1 (VD) SS#2 (HD) SS#3 (HD) yy MHz SS #1 (VD) SS #3 (VD) Uplink frame n SS #2 (VD) SS #1 (VD) SS #3 (VD) Uplink frame n+1 SS #2 (VD) (b) Time Divsion Duplexing (TDD) Frame n Downlink subframe n xx MHz BC SS#1 (VD) SS#2 (HD) SS#3 (HD) Uplink subframe n SS #1 (VD) SS #3 (VD) SS #2 (VD) Figure 14. and therefore the side lobes of the outgoing signal may drown out the incoming signal. on the other hand. makes mobile devices complex and expensive.vided into code words of fixed length. As stated before. however. are half duplex stations. and hence do not receive the end of a downlink subframe simultaneously. Using TDD. Consecutive downlink and uplink subframes are separated by guard periods (as explained in the last section). there often remain interferences. downlink and uplink share a common radio channel and are separated in the time domain as demonstrated in Figure 14b. that is. consists of several data bursts. Another solution is therefore to use half duplex. Channel coding in WiMAX WiMAX — Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access .4 Duplexing Another task of the physical layer is the separation of uplink and downlink transmissions. SS #1 is a full duplex station. which is also referred to as outer coding. Each subscriber station is assigned two data bursts.

the order of the two bursts would be exchanged. Using the bandwidth request field. A particular concern is that a subscriber station that wants to transmit in (or receive) a burst has to detect the end of the previous burst assigned to another subscriber station. It can easily detect the end of the first burst. the frame length. because it is located out of the range where 16-QAM modulated signals can be reliably received. DCD and UCD are complex descriptions of the configuration of downlink and uplink. The assignment of data bursts to subscriber stations is part of the medium access layer and is executed by the base station under consideration of QoS requirements. which carries the so-called burst profile of the first downlink burst. This is demonstrated for the downlink in Figure 16. For example. which provides high data rates but which is very susceptible to interferences. regarding modulation schemes or error coding rates. the bursts within a frame must always be arranged in decreasing order with Decreasing robustness of modulation TTG Initial ranging Bandwidth request Preamble FCH RTG FCH Downlink subframe Preamble SS #1 SS#2 SS#3 SS#4 (QPSK) (16-QAM) (16-QAM) (64-QAM) BS SS#2 SS#4 SS#1 SS#3 Increasing interferences Figure 16. which is received by all subscriber stations connected to that base station. The broadcast fields (in the downlink) and the fields for initial ranging and bandwidth request (in the uplink) are followed by data bursts for individual transmissions to and from subscriber stations.Frame n-1 Downlink sub-frame DL DL Burst Burst #1 #2 Frame n Frame n+1 Uplink sub-frame Time DL Burst #n UL UL Burst Burst #1 #2 UL Burst #n Broad. Each subscriber station that wants to get access to a base station has to receive these descriptions and adjust to it. This process is performed during the net10 work entry and will be described below. on the other hand. see Figure 15. because QPSK is more robust than 16-QAM. An uplink subframe starts with two fields denoted as initial ranging and bandwidth request. The preamble indicates the beginning of a frame and enables the synchronization of subscriber stations to the transmissions of the base station. the required data rates and the expected robustness of transmission. SS#1 is located farthest away from the base station and is served with a QPSK modulation in the first burst. The first burst then carries a so-called broadcast control field. For each data burst. A data burst is of variable length and carriers the protocol data units of the medium access layer (MAC PDU). to name only a few. The preamble is followed by the FCH field. DL-MAP and UL-MAP indicate the positions of all downlink and uplink bursts within the corresponding subframes as well as their burst profiles. a subscriber station can announce its bandwidth requirements to the base station. and contain information like the identifier of the serving base station. which will be explained below. the length of various fields within a frame. the serving base station broadcasts control information at the beginning of each frame. The following descriptions refer to both TDD and FDD. For this purpose. This can only be guaranteed if for the previous burst either the same modulation scheme is used or another one that is more robust against interferences. it is necessary to inform all subscriber stations in a radio cell about the configuration of the radio channel. SS#1 could hardly detect the end of the first burst. If. TDD frame format parallel transmission and constitute an entire frame with a maximum length of 20 ms. Modulation of data bursts WiMAX — Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access . Therefore. the frame number and information for power adjustment and initial ranging. Modulation and coding of these fields are standardized in order to make them interpretable for all subscriber stations being in the process of network entry. The configuration can be dynamically selected under consideration of the capabilities of the subscriber station. In Figure 15. for example. a so-called frame control header (FCH) and the first data burst. there is no need in the FDD mode to separate consecutive frames by TTG and RTG respectively. The broadcast is constituted by a preamble. is closer by and receives in the second burst modulated with the less robust 16-QAM. while for subscriber stations located farther away the more robust QPSK modulation may be preferred. Because the WiMAX physical layers provide several options. another configuration of modulation scheme and error coding rate can be used. Downlink Channel Descriptor (DCD) and Uplink Channel Descriptor (UCD). The FCH field consists of only one OFDM symbol and is modulated with BPSK. This burst profile indicates the modulation scheme and code rate used in the first burst. which is specified in the DL-MAP and UL-MAP fields of the frame. which is composed of further fields denoted as DLMAP.MAC cast PDUs MAC PDU #1 MAC PDU #n DL MAP UL MAP DCD UCD MAC MAC CRC Header Payload Figure 15. the usage of different modulation schemes imposes certain constraints regarding the ordering of bursts within a frame. The former is accessed by subscriber stations in order to determine the range to the base station. however. UL-MAP. However. SS#2. Furthermore. subscriber stations located close-by to the base station may be served by 64-QAM. It always has a length of two OFDM symbols of a fixed radio pattern and is modulated with QPSK. which will also be explained later.

which only consists of a single header. latency and jitter. The requirements of different applications on these parameters are very heterogeneous. for example. for example.2). In classical mobile networks. for example. For the downlink. GSM. There may be several MAC PDUs per data burst. The allocation of data bursts has to be considered for downlink and uplink direction differently. which would occur if two or more subscriber stations would enter the same radio channel (or some of its sub-carriers if OFDMA is applied) simultaneously and. the Internet.1 MAC Protocol Data Units Data is transferred via protocol data units (PDUs) of the MAC layer. Figure 17 shows a possible appearance of downlink and uplink frames for the case that OFDMA is used. whether or not encryption and error deWiMAX — Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access . The primary focus of medium access on the one hand is to avoid collisions. A service flow is always unidirectional. tection are activated as well as the length of the entire PDU. The term CRC denotes a special mechanism of error detection. while a simple file transfer only requires a minimum data rate. it is defined either for uplink or downlink direction. that is. the medium access is much more complicated. because the base station is the only sender in this direction. Instead. the medium access layer also provides related functions. They can also be transmitted simultaneously assuming that they adopt different sub-channels.2 Service Flows and MAC Connections The medium access layer of WiMAX organizes the exchange of data between subscriber and base station by the concept of service flows. 5. which are composed of the several sub-carriers built by the multi carrier modulation. In other wireless system. in turn. The following sub-sections provide a short overview of the most important procedures of medium access. Finally. on the other. The data of an external network. the stations enter the channel whenever they have data to 11 5 WiMAX Medium Access Layer If a base station operates in the point-to-multipoint mode (see Section 2. control and management information as well as bandwidth requests issued by the subscriber stations to announce their bandwidth requirements for uplink transmission. Example of frame structure when using OFDMA regard to the robustness of the used modulation schemes. Frequency domain . the identifier of the connection (see description below).OFDMA sub-carriers DL-MAP FCH DL Burst #5 (Multicast/Broadcast burst) Preamble DL-MAP UL-MAP 5. a payload field and another field for error detection. the payload field may carry IP data packets. The header is of fixed length and carries control information. because it has to be coordinated among all subscriber stations within a cell. This access is coordinated by the base station and belongs to the main tasks of the medium access layer. to guarantee the access in a way that QoS requirements are met. see also Figure 15. For example. arrives at the base station and is there assigned to the service flow that is maintained between the base station and the subscriber station the data is intended for.DL sub-frame UL sub-frame DL Burst #2 UL Burst #1 DL Burst #3 UL Burst #2 DL Burst #5 DL Burst #1 DL Burst #4 BW IR UL Burst #1 Time domain . which is referenced by a Connection Identifier (CID) and which is constituted by a series of data bursts allocated by the base station in the different transmission frames. the Cyclic Redundancy Check (CRC) field contains a checksum that the transmitter calculates from the header and payload fields. The scheduling algorithm of the base station then identifies one or several bursts within one or several frames for data transmission. the allocation is comparatively simple. authentication and ciphering as well as error correction and radio link control. WLAN. where the checksum is given by the remainder of a polynomial division.OFDMA symbols TTG RTG Figure 17. for example. the problem of assigning transmission capacity to mobile stations is often solved by reserving a burst of fixed length in each frame and for each active station. a PDU contains a header field. The PDUs carry user data. The checksum is analyzed by the receiver in order to detect those errors that could not be corrected by the channel decoding process of the physical layer (see also Section 4. subscriber stations located within its coverage area compete against each other for access to the radio channel. data rate. which. In the uplink. The payload field carries the actual user data as well as control and management information and is of variable length. Finally. Each service flow is realized by a MAC connection.3). VoIP without silence suppression demands for a constant bit rate and a guaranteed maximum latency and jitter. This allocation has to be organized in a way that the QoS requirements of the service flow the connection carries are fulfilled. Apart from the bandwidth request. which are filled into the payload field by the convergence sub-layer. It is called scheduling and is based on sophisticated algorithms. The bandwidth request header additionally contains the number of bytes the subscriber station intends to transmit in the uplink. are included into the data bursts provided by the physical layer. access to the radio channel is not centrally coordinated. For example. for example. but no guarantees regarding other QoS parameters. The different data bursts are not only separated in the time domain here. Besides this. It is represented by a unique Service Flow Identifier (SFID) and characterized by a set of QoS parameters. This process represents the core mechanism of medium access. for example.

A typical example is VoIP without silence suppression. but can immediately inform the base station about changing bandwidth demands if necessary. but it suffers from an inefficient utilization of the channel if the stations do not use the full capacity of a burst. This service class has the strongest requirements on QoS mechanisms and has been designed for supporting real-time applications of constant bit rate. where both periods of conversation and silence are encoded and transferred with a constant bit rate. see Figure 15. that is. the burst number and length. while an aggregated request specifies the total amount of bytes that needs to be sent. WiMAX provides different access mechanisms for the uplink that can be dynamically deployed under consideration of QoS requirements. Besides the byte number. The base station here explicitly invites a subscriber station to announce its uplink bandwidth demand for a particular connection. In the former category. 5. the subscriber station determines the number of bytes it wants to transmit in the uplink and returns this number to the base station by sending a bandwidth request header (see Section 5. The name is derived from the fact that bandwidth requests are piggybacked (or attached) to the regular uplink transmissions of a subscriber station. This service class is based on the polling and piggybacking mechanisms for bandwidth request. After the base station has received the bandwidth request header. a subscriber station does not have to wait until it is polled. Upon arrival of a poll. This mechanism is called unsolicited scheduling and is the preferred choice for applications that require a constant bit rate during the entire session. A typical example is MPEGcompressed video. Another real-time service class is the Real-time Polling Service. WiMAX — Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access . for applications that periodically create a certain amount of data for realtime transfer over the network. but it may be temporarily cancelled in the case of inactive time periods. in order to cope with the antagonism of efficiency and quality. The latter approach. the polling refers to only a single subscriber station. 12 Another mechanism for requesting bandwidth is piggybacking. for example. for example. instead of sending a dedicated bandwidth requests header. Using an incremental request. The parameters for uplink transmission. which is depicted in Figure 18. Furthermore. which depends on the base station’s scheduling algorithm and the QoS parameters that have been negotiated for the respective service flow. One of these mechanisms is polling. The bandwidth request header is included in the bandwidth request field of the uplink frame. which differ from each other in the QoS they provide.3 Service Classes The different mechanisms of bandwidth request presented previously are used for realizing different service classes. Finally. on the other hand. The polling request specifies the CID of the connection the polling refers to. The following services classes have been defined for WiMAX: • Unsolicited Grant Service (UGS). whereupon the base station allocates more bandwidth for the respective connection. which in contrast to UGS supports the periodic transfer of data packets of variable size. it reserves a burst of appropriate size for the next uplink frame. The bandwidth request mechanism in the uplink used for this service class is unsolicited scheduling. In this case. performs much better with regard to channel utilization. it is distinguished between unicast and multicast/ broadcast polling. Furthermore. this header also specifies the connection the request refers to and whether the bandwidth request is incremental or aggregated.Polling [UL-MAP] Bandwidth request [Bandwidth request field] Bandwidth grant [UL-MAP] UL transmission [assigned data burst] Figure 18. The bandwidth request is included into the header of a conventional MAC PDU and always refers to the connection this PDU is part of. The reservation may hold for the entire duration of the service session. Collisions between the transmissions of different stations are avoided in that the channel has to be sensed free prior to transmission. These service classes are basically descriptions of service flows with a pre-configured set of QoS parameters and are supported by associated scheduling algorithms in the base station. where the single frames of a video stream are encoded depending on the data of previous and following frames and therefore differ in size. the subscriber station indicates a change of bandwidth demand with regard to previous requests. The former approach is suitable for the adherence of QoS guarantees. • Real-time Polling Service (rtPS).1). The polling of a subscriber station may be performed regularly or irregularly. Piggybacking is performed independently from polling. and it is encoded as a special element of the uplink map. are then indicated to the subscriber station in the next UL-MAP sent on the downlink. when too many stations contend for channel access. during periods of silence in a VoIP session. the subscriber station sets a so-called slip indicator bit in the MAC PDU header. Polling send. but it is not suitable for providing a negotiated QoS. for example. a subscriber station can get assigned uplink bursts of fixed length at regular intervals without the need to explicitly request them. while multicast/broadcast polling addresses several or all subscriber stations located in a cell. Therefore. a subscriber station can indicate additional bandwidth demand for an unsolicited connection if it turns out that the amount of unsent data exceeds a pre-defined value. that is.

in order to get access to a WLAN system. The subscriber station scans the frequency range for detecting the downlink channel of a base station and then listens to the preamble periodically broadcast in each downlink frame. the different steps of network entry are hidden from the subscriber as far as possible. the subscriber station enters the initial ranging field of an uplink frame and sends a ranging request message (2) with the minimum transmission power. They are only served if sufficient capacity is available. instant messaging or chat applications. Therefore. however. that is. about the type of physical layer and the used modulation and error correction schemes. in a similar manner as mobile phones register with a GSM network. If the subscriber station is synchronized. it derives information about the organization of uplink and downlink. for example. error correction schemes and rates as well as duplexing methods supported by the subscriber station. Figure 19. Instead. Email. Upon arrival and checking of the capability request message from the subscriber station (4). as often required. in order to provide an acceptable QoS. In the next step. it is possible to modify the QoS parameters of a services class or to determine its own set of QoS paWiMAX — Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access . which either contains corrections for transmission power and timing or which indicates success. that is. for example. Authentication and Key Exchange After network entry is completed. increases the complexity of configuration. this message is resent with an increased transmission power. Examples for such lowpriority applications are those which create a low amount of data that may be delivered with a considerable delay. However. This service class supports typical non-real-time applications such as file transfer or Internet browsing. the range between subscriber and base station is determined in order to fix a suitable transmission power and timing corrections. This process is repeated until the subscriber station receives a ranging response message (3). The different steps are depicted in Figure 19. MAC procedures • Non-real-time Polling Service (nrtPS). Services of this class do not receive any QoS guarantees at all. For this purpose.4 Procedures of the MAC Layer Network entry Regular DL transmissions 1 Downlink channel synchronization 2 [Initial ranging field] This section gives an overview of the procedures taking place between subscriber station and base station in order to register with the network and to get assigned resources. Network Entry Before a subscriber station can use any services. a process that is known as network entry. from the broadcast control field of the first burst. The first step a subscriber station has to perform for network entry is called downlink channel synchronization (see Step (1) in Figure 19). • Best Effort Service (BE). This service class does not necessarily need periodic transmission opportunities or a guaranteed end-to-end latency. If required.Subscriber station Base station rameters for a service flow. the subscriber should enter into contact with a WiMAX network in a plug-and-play fashion. the subscriber station must authenticate towards the network. and may only require a pre-configuration of subscriber stations by the respective operator (to be made before they are delivered to the subscriber). that is. the base station issues unicast polls on a regular basis. The last step of network entry is capability negotiation. the base station can accept or deny network entry in a capability response message (5). which is necessary in or13 Ranging request Ranging response 3 4 Capability request Capability response 5 Authentication and key exchange 6 Authentication request Authentication response 7 Registration 8 Registration request Registration response 9 10 DHCP/Internet Time Protocol/TFTP Connection Setup 11 Dynamic service addition request DS received 12 13 Authorization Dynamic service addition response 14 15 Dynamic service addition ack. and it is used to inform the base station about the modulation schemes. which is denoted as initial ranging. An important goal when designing WiMAX was to avoid complex and cumbersome manual configurations to be made by the subscriber. it must first introduce to the base station. 5. If no response is received from the base station within a certain timeout period. which.

Hard handover 14 WiMAX — Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access .. In the former case. this is indicated to the subscriber station by sending another message (14). IP or ATM) and which contains the desired QoS parameters. service flows can be established in both directions. Connection Setup After a subscriber station is known to the network. the serving base station and possible target base stations. which contains an authorization key for ciphering subsequent messages. the serving base station periodically Subscriber station Serving Target #1 Target #2 base station Network topology advertisement 1 2 Scanning request Scanning response 3 4 Scanning interval Regular downlink transmissions Regular downlink transmissions 6 Mobility Support This section gives an overview of functions for mobility support in Mobile WiMAX systems. decision and execution. and a handover to another base station should be performed. The focus is on the different types of handover. This authorization key is encrypted with the subscriber’s public key and can only be decrypted with her secret key at the subscriber station. for which a series of management messages is exchanged. it is possible to establish several service flows in parallel. After reception of this message.1. The certificate is passed to the network (6) and is decrypted there with the subscriber’s public key.1 Handover Basically. among them the allocation of an IP address by using the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP). an existing service flow can be reconfigured (regarding its QoS parameters) or deleted. supported protocols for retransmission of erroneous data (Automatic Repeat Request. Upon sending a registration request message (8). which addresses the convergence sublayer the service flow refers to (that is. . The authentication is based on X. further operations are executed for IP connectivity (10).der to validate the subscriber’s identity. Also. procedures of location management and a reference model for a WiMAX network architecture. Registration and IP Connectivity The subscriber station can now register with the network and be configured for IP operation. In Mobile WiMAX. the base station sends an authentication response (7). The service flows may be initiated by the subscriber station or by the base station. In addition to this setup procedure. ARQ) and other capabilities needed for medium access (9). Measurements are made by the subscriber station and refer to observing the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of downlink transmissions from the serving base station as well as from possible target base stations. the exchange of current date and time via the Internet Time Protocol and the download of operational parameters by using the Trivial File Transfer Protocol (TFTP). If this check is successful. Figure 20. the measuring subscriber station must be aware of their existence and the configuration of the associated radio channels. the subscriber station sends a request message to the base station (11). modes for power saving.. all of them are initialized by the subscriber station. the handover process as performed in most mobile networks can be subdivided into the three following phases: measurements. Therefore. which are issued by the manufacturer of the subscriber station and which are encrypted with the subscriber’s secret key. Hard Handover A hard handover is characterized by the fact that the connection to the serving base station is released before another one is established to the new base station ("breakbefore-make"). Mobile WiMAX supports hard as well as soft handover. The SNR expresses the ratio between the reception power of the intended signal and that of other interferences. but supported by the base stations involved in the handover procedure. The connection setup is completed if the subscriber station then acknowledges this message (15). In order to measure the SNR of possible target base stations. the error rates increase. that is. it receives information about the used IP version.509 certificates. the base station acknowledges its reception (12) and checks whether the requesting subscriber is allowed at all to request service flows with the specified QoS configuration (13). which is shown in Figure 19. If the SNR of the serving base station gets low. 6. If the validation is successful. 8 5 Handover request Capacity & QoS checks Handover response 7 6 9 Network entry. Finally. registration. As stated in Section 2. The three handover phases for both types are explained in the following. for which similar procedures exist.

If this happens. which then checks whether the identified base stations have enough capacity at all to serve the subscriber station and to maintain the QoS parameters of its service flows (6). the subscriber can switch between different neighbouring base stations and obtain the SNRs of their downlink transmissions. for which GPS receivers mounted at Ready for reception/ transmission Handover Standby Handover Suspended Paging + Location Update Active mode Sleep mode Idle mode Figure 21. If the subscriber station does not return a negative acknowledgement within a specified time period. After analyzing the network-topologyadvertisement message. The subscriber station. which are also selected under consideration of the transmission quality experienced during the scanning interval. Soft Handover During a soft handover. Instead of summing up the signals. However. After the results of this check are available. In the uplink. this configuration is an aggregation of the DCD and UCD fields broadcast by the respective base stations in their downlink frames. Analogously. The list of potential target base stations must first be sent to the serving base station (5). the active set only contains the base station the subscriber station has initially registered with. handover decision and execution are handled differently. However. Furthermore. During this interval.broadcasts a so-called network-topology-advertisement message. Making soft handovers possible is a difficult task and requires a careful design and planning of WiMAX networks as well as complex and sophisticated coordinations during their operation. After the scanning is complete. see Step (1) in Figure 20. if the SNR of the anchor base station is lower than that of another base station for a certain period of time. for listening to the transmissions of neighbouring base stations. The base stations a subscriber station is connected to are managed in its active set. the subscriber station maintains several connections to different base stations simultaneously ("make-before-break"). This decision process also includes the identification of potential target base stations. the frames must be exactly synchronized in time. this decision cannot be made by the subscriber station solely. the subscriber station can request to change the anchor. the signals of the subscriber station are received by all base stations of the active set. Measurements are performed in the same manner as for the hard handover during scanning intervals. see Step (6) in Figure 20. Multiple connections to different base stations during soft handover WiMAX — Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access Figure 22. In order to improve the reception quality. Power saving modes 15 . see Step (1)-(4) in Figure 20. the subscriber station requests the anchor base station for updating the active set. At the beginning. all signals are combined to an aggregated signal. which is called selective diversity. which is called anchor base station. Maintaining connections to several base stations simultaneously means that the subscriber station receives the same data for several times over different paths. The active set can be extended if the subscriber station measures an SNR from another base station that exceeds a pre-defined threshold value. transmissions to and from the requesting subscriber station are interrupted. which contains a list of all neighbouring base stations together with their configuration. the serving base station returns the list of remaining target base stations or proposes new ones (7). in order to avoid interferences. This feature is called macro diversity and is also implemented in UMTS networks. Basically. it requests the serving base station for the assignment of a so-called scanning interval (2). only that with the best quality is selected and further processed. the subscriber station compares the measured SNRs with the SNR of the serving base station and decides whether or not a handover is necessary. registration and all following steps as explained in Section 5. The realization of macro and selective diversity makes it necessary that neighbouring base stations operate at the same frequencies and follow the same structure of data bursts within the transmission frames. However. a base station can be removed from the active set if its SNR falls below another threshold value. which can be accepted or denied depending on similar capacity checks as performed for the hard handover. it returns a negative acknowledgement. The beginning and length of the scanning interval are returned in a scanning-response message to the subscriber station (3).4. registers with the new target base station then (9) and for this purpose executes network entry. the serving base station acts on the assumption that the subscriber station has switched to one of the proposed target base stations and releases all connections. see Figure 21. which usually shows a much better SNR when compared to that of a single signal. on the other hand. This negotiation process can then be repeated for several times until a suitable target base station is determined (8). If the subscriber station does not accept one of the chosen base stations. For this purpose. Furthermore. whereupon it starts the scanning of neighbouring base stations (4). the subscriber station must interrupt the reception of the serving base station.

Therefore. The sleep mode is characterized by alternating listening and sleep periods. However. and that is why for Mobile WiMAX new operational modes are defined. which significantly burdens the air interface as well the battery resources of the subscriber station. if network-initiated traffic needs to be delivered.the base stations deliver a common time basis. to determine the access network and base station a subscriber is currently connected to. Paging is performed by all base stations that belong to the paging area the subscriber is registered with. The different paging areas may overlap. the change to another base station is recognized when perform16 ing a handover. it has obviously entered another paging area and issues a location update. The advantage of this concept is that a handover is not necessary. The subscriber station does neither transmit nor receive. However. performing a handover goes along with a complex sequence of control information exchanged between subscriber and base station. WiMAX Network Reference Model WiMAX — Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access . the subscriber station is suspended from the network. and the subscriber remains on a certain web page over a longer period of time before requesting the next one. for example. there is additional management overhead. for example. In the idle mode. but remains available for the case that network-initiated data is to be delivered. It only awakens for listening to so-called paging intervals. for example. If data arrive from the network during the sleep periods. Therefore. The start and length of sleep and listening periods are negotiated between subscriber station and base station before starting into the sleep mode. and hence saves its power resources. even if the subscriber moves around and leaves the coverage area of the serving base station. This may happen.1. which will be described in the next section. in this case it must still be available for network-initiated traffic. These are called sleep and idle mode and consume considerably less power than the conventional active mode. The idle periods between two paging intervals can alternatively be used for scanning neighbouring base stations if the transmissions in the paging intervals from the serving base station get too weak. the serving base station of the target subscriber must be determined. an incoming VoIP session or push email. These mechanism enable to locate a subscriber station within the topology of a network. similar to the sleep periods in the sleep mode. a single base station may be assigned to different paging areas. the base station has to buffer it until the next listening period occurs. which is denoted as location update. Visited Network Service Provider Network Home Network Service Provider Access Provider R2 R2 Subscriber Station R1 Access Service Network R3 Connectivity Service Network R5 Connectivity Service Network R4 Anderes ASN Control data User data Application Service Provider or Internet Application Service Provider or Internet Figure 23. A subscriber station turns from the active into the sleep mode if no data is to be sent in the various service flows it maintains with the base station. In a sleep period. each base station broadcasts in the paging interval the identifiers of the paging areas it belongs to. or. It is realized by broadcasting the subscriber station's identifier during the paging intervals of the idle mode (see last section). If so. to name only a few. From time to time. the subscriber station returns to the active mode and re-registers with its serving base station. Location management in Mobile WiMAX is based on paging areas. however. handovers are not performed when the subscriber station is in idle mode. While in the other modes. strictly speaking. Finally.3 Location Management A subscriber station being in active or sleep mode always performs a handover when it leaves the coverage area of the serving base station. This location update contains the identifier of the paging area and the subscriber station's identity. see Figure 22. 6. the coordination of uplink and downlink maps and the assignment of common CIDs and SFIDs. that is. which is done via paging. which comprise the coverage areas of several base stations. if a service flow is used for transferring web pages. In this way. it then returns to the active mode. the idle mode uses classical mechanisms known from the location management of cellular networks like GSM. both of which are stored in the databases of the network and used for paging. Upon recognizing that it is paged. If a subscriber station recognizes that it receives the identifier of another paging area than in the previous paging interval. The serving base station is not known. subscriber stations issue location updates on a periodic basis or on request by the network. 6. In addition to the location update on crossing the boundaries of a paging area. as demonstrated in Section 6. the serving base station has been determined and the data can be routed over this base station for transmission to the subscriber. the subscriber station changes into a listening period in order to check whether data from the network has arrived. during which it is informed about incoming data and other procedures of the location management. and the subscriber stations only need to inform the network when crossing the boundaries of the paging area. In idle mode. For this purpose. a subscriber's location is known to the network only with the granularity of paging areas.2 Power Saving A typical problem of mobile devices is the lack of sufficient battery resources. the subscriber station is deactivated and does neither monitor the downlink transmission frames from the base station nor does it transmit in the uplink.

for example. base stations must be connected among each other as well as to other components such as databases or gateways. IEEE 802. roaming as well as authentication.16e-2005. A subscriber station is connected to an Access Service Network (ASN) of the NAP. Instead. as it might be sufficient for Fixed or Nomadic WiMAX. The separation between the CSNs of H-NSP and V-NSP has been arranged to support roaming subscribers in a similar manner as known from GSM networks. In addition. IEEE 802. nomadic and mobile subscribers. that is. It incorporates the four administrative domains of the Subscriber. Part 16: Air Interface for Fixed and Mobile Broadband Wireless Access Systems. New York. Web Site. January 2007 17 [3] [4] [5] [6] . interfaces. A system with standalone base stations. protocols and transactions that are needed to exchange control data (represented by the dotted line in Figure 23) or user data (represented by the solid line). Instead. which consists of several base stations and Access Service Network Gateways (ASN-GW). and vice versa. A detailled description can be found in [5] and [6]. However. which are an abstract representation of communication links. the base stations of an ASN are connected among each other via reference point R6. Furthermore. offers high-level services. John Wiley & Sons. UMTS.4 WiMAX System Architecture Initially. Visited Network Service Provider (V-NSP) and Home Network Service Provider (H-NSP). Heise Zeitschriften Verlag. February 2006 WiMAX Forum. The WiMAX forum has recognized these demands and released an architecture for WiMAX End-to-End Network Systems in December 2005 [4].Access Service Network R6 R1 Base Station R8 ASN Gateway R4 R6 R3 R1 Base Station R6 ASN Gateway R4 Figure 24. location management. http://www. Amendment for Physical and Medium Access Control Layers for Combined Fixed and Mobile Operation in Licensed Bands. Subscribers registering with a V-NSP do not need to maintain a dedicated subscription with that provider. November 2006 Loutfi Nuaymi. and cellular networks like GSM and UMTS. which realizes high data rates but almost no mobility support. New York. WiMAX was planned as access technology that simply connects subscriber stations to a network. Network Access Provider (NAP). is not sustainable and cannot fulfil the demands of the functions mentioned before. the migration towards a system with full mobility support requires additional components for realizing and supporting mobility-related procedures like handover. for example. References [1] [2] WiMAX Forum. UMTS or other wireless systems. As depicted in Figure 24.org/ IEEE Standard for Local and Metropolitan Area Networks.16-Standard: Technik. the role of Mobile WiMAX in the area of other mobile networks is unclear so far. multimedia and location-based services. The CSN of a V-NSP and H-NSP respectively provides connectivity services to other public and non-public networks. it is also responsible for accounting and charging subscribers for the usage of services. 7 Conclusion WiMAX belongs to the class of wireless Metropolitan Area Networks and provides access to fixed. Mobile WiMAX bridges the gap between WLAN. for example. operated under a common core network. Components of the Access Service Network 6. The reference point R1 describing that connection comprises all functions of the physical and medium access layer described in the last sections. however. it centrally coordinates the assignment of IP addresses to subscriber stations and provides mobility support for subscribers moving between different ASNs. WiMAX networks as defined by the NRM might be realized by a homogenous approach and then provide interoperability with GSM. which provide world-wide coverage but suffer from low data rates and capacity shortages. in order to exchange control information needed for handover support. it controls and manages the load of base stations. In the long-term. Mobile WiMAX — Part 1: A Technical Overview and Performance Evaluation. February 2006 Johannes Maucher and Jörg Furrer. Mobile WiMAX and cellular systems might merge into what is today referred to as 4G networks. authorization. and manages subscriber data. Part 16: Air Interface for Fixed Broadband Wireless Access Systems. The different domains are interconnected by reference points. This approach is very similar to what is envisaged for the next releases of UMTS networks. WiMAX: Technology for Broadband Wireless Access. accounting (AAA). which are characterized by the coexistence of heterogeneous radio technologies. From a today's perspective. While Fixed and Nomadic WiMAX represent an interesting alternative to wired access technologies like DSL and cable modem. The NRM describes an AllIP network. WiMAX — Der IEEE802. which is part of the radio WiMAX — Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access resource management. which is operated by the VNSP or H-NSP.16-2004.wimaxforum. This white paper could give only a rough overview of WiMAX. WLAN and WiMAX. October 2004 IEEE Standard for Local and Metropolitan Area Networks. Figure 23 gives a rough overview of the WiMAX Network Reference Model (NRM). Finally. Anwendung. which is a logical representation of this architecture. the V-NSP accounts the H-NSP for all services the subscriber has accessed. Potential. The ASNGW provides typical bridging and routing functions and transfer user data between base stations and the Connectivity Service Network (CSN). all reference points depicted in the figure are realized on top of the Internet protocol. Alternatively.

samsungmobile.com/ Samsung Telecommunication Europe Samsung House • Am Kronberger Hang 6 • 65824 Schwalbach/Ts. • Deutschland/Germany .http://www.

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