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11/Wi-Fi networks with the coverage and QOS (quality of service) of cellular networks. WiMAX is also an acronym meaning "Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access (WiMAX). WiMAX is a wireless digital communications system, also known as IEEE 802.16 that is intended for wireless "metropolitan area networks". WiMAX can provide broadband wireless access (BWA) up to 30 miles (50 km) for fixed stations, and 3 - 10 miles (5 - 15 km) for mobile stations. In contrast, the WiFi/802.11 wireless local area network standard is limited in most cases to only 100 - 300 feet (30 - 100m). With WiMAX, WiFi-like data rates are easily supported, but the issue of interference is lessened. WiMAX operates on both licensed and non-licensed frequencies, providing a regulated environment and viable economic model for wireless carriers. At its heart, however, WiMAX is a standards initiative. Its purpose is to ensure that the broadband wireless radios manufactured for customer use interoperate from vendor to vendor. The primary advantages of the WiMAX standard are to enable the adoption of advanced radio features in a uniform fashion and reduce costs for all of the radios made by companies, who are part of the WiMAX Forum™ - a standards body formed to ensure interoperability via testing. The more recent Long Term Evolution (LTE) standard is a similar term describing a parallel technology to WiMAX that is being developed by vendors and carriers as a counterpoint to WiMAX.
What is WiMAX? WiMAX has the potential to replace a number of existing telecommunications infrastructures. In a fixed wireless configuration it can replace the telephone company's copper wire networks, the cable TV's coaxial cable infrastructure while offering Internet Service Provider (ISP) services. In its mobile variant, WiMAX has the potential to replace cellular networks. How do we get there?
Figure 1 WiMAX has the potential to impact all forms of telecommunications
What is WiMAX or Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access? WiMAX is an Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) standard designated 802. The industry trade group WiMAX Forum has defined WiMAX as a "last mile" broadband wireless access (BWA) alternative to cable modem service. Fixed WiMAX Figure 2 Fixed WiMAX offers cost effective point to point and point to multipoint solutions .16-2004 (fixed wireless applications) and 802.16e2005 (mobile wire-less). telephone company Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) or T1/E1 service.
mobile emergency response services. Mobile WiMAX . T1/E1 substitute for businesses. mobile telephone service. also known as customer premise equipment (CPE). portable or mobile non-line-of sight service from a base station to a subscriber station. Some goals for WiMAX include a radius of service coverage of 6 miles from a WiMAX base station for point-to-multipoint. mobile data TV. voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) as telephone company substitute.What makes WiMAX so exciting is the broad range of applications it makes possible but not limited to broadband internet access. wireless backhaul as substitute for fiber optic cable. non-line-of-sight (see following pages for illustrations and definitions) service. That WiMAX cell site should offer enough bandwidth to support hundreds of businesses with T1 speeds and thousands of residential customers with the equivalent of DSL services from one base station. WiMAX provides fixed. backhaul for Wi-Fi hotspots and cell phone towers. Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) as cable TV substitute. This service should deliver approximately 40 megabits per second (Mbps) for fixed and portable access applications.
WiMAX is not Wi-Fi . For example. EvDv and HSDPA. It potentially replaces cell phones and mobile data offerings from cell phone operators such as EvDo. it offers superior building penetration and improved security measures over fixed WiMAX. mobile WiMAX enables streaming video to be broadcast from a speeding police or other emergency vehicle at over 70 MPH. Mobile WiMAX will be very valuable for emerging services such as mobile TV and gaming. In addition to being the final leg in a quadruple play.Figure 3 Mobile WiMAX allows any telecommunications to go mobile Mobile WiMAX takes the fixed wireless application a step further and enables cell phone-like applications on a much larger scale.
it also offers carrier grade quality of service (QoS) and security. In truth.Figure 4 Where Wi-Fi covers an office or coffee shop.11).11 offered no prioritization of traffic making it less than ideal for voice or video. WiMAX covers a city One of the most often heard descriptions of WiMAX in the press is that it is "Wi-Fi on steroids".11b. it is considerably more than that. The "b" variant of 802. Not only does WiMAX offer exponentially greater range and throughput than Wi-Fi (technically speaking 802.11 offer substantial improvements over the "b" variant of 802. although new variants of 802. Wi-Fi has been notorious for its lack of security. The limited range and throughput of Wi-Fi means that a Wi-Fi service provider must deploy multiple access points in order to cover the same area and .
11 security and QoS. The IEEE 802. In place of a radio station there is a base station (radio and antenna that transmits information (internet access. WiMAX can be described as being somewhat similar. weather. converged voice and data can be as easy as FM radio Visualize turning on an FM radio in your office.11 Working group has since approved upgrades for 802. IPTV) .service the same number of customers as one WiMAX base station (note the differences in nomenclature). You receive information (news. VoIP. Converged voice and data easy as FM radio? Figure 5 With WiMAX. sports) from that service (the FM radio station) and hardware (the FM radio with attached antenna).
.and the subscriber has a WiMAX CPE that receives the services. Wireless architecture: point-to-point and point-to-multipoint There are two scenarios for a wireless deployment: point-to-point and pointto-multipoint. The major difference is that with WiMAX the service is two-way or interactive. courtesy Motorola Wireless Architectures The following section will provide a simple overview of wireless concepts and nomenclature to help the reader understand how WiMAX works and will assist the reader in communicating with the WiMAX industry. Figure 6 WiMAX indoor CPE.
Point-to-Multipoint (PMP) As seen in the figure above.Figure 7: Point-to point and point-to-multipoint configurations Point-to-point (P2P) Point to point is used where there are two points of interest: one sender and one receiver. point-to-multipoint is synonymous with distribution. Backhaul radios comprise an industry of their own within the wireless industry. One base station can service hundreds of dissimilar subscribers in terms of bandwidth and services offered. fiber POP. co-lo facility. etc) to the subscriber or for a point for distribution using point to multipoint architecture. Line of sight (LOS) or Non-line of sight (NLOS)? . This is also a scenario for backhaul or the transport from the data source (data center. As the architecture calls for a highly focused beam between two points range and throughput of point-to point radios will be higher than that of point-to-multipoint products. Central Office.
unlike those earlier technologies. the WiMAX service provider can reach many customers in high-rise office .Figure 8: The difference between line of sight and non-line of sight Earlier wireless technologies (LMDS. This limited the number of subscribers they could reach and. given the high cost of base stations and CPE. WiMAX functions best in line of sight situations and. but in an urban environment. those business plans failed. the signal will still be strong enough to deliver adequate service. Buildings between the base station and the subscriber diminish the range and throughput. MMDS for example) were unsuccessful in the mass market as they could not deliver services in nonline-of-sight scenarios. Given WiMAX's ability to deliver services non-line-of-sight. offers acceptable range and throughput to subscribers who are not line of sight to the base station.
very simply put. many CPE devices are also two piece solutions with an antenna on the outside of the building and subscriber station indoors as illustrated in the figure below. WiMAX Radios At the core of WiMAX is the WiMAX radio.buildings to achieve a low cost per subscriber because so many subscribers can be reached from one base station. Figure 9: Most WiMAX solutions use radios separate from antennas . A radio might be thought of as a networking device similar to a router or a bridge in that it is managed by software and is composed of circuit boards containing very complex chip sets. A radio contains both a transmitter (sends) and a receiver (receives). It generates electrical oscillations at a frequency known as the carrier frequency (in WiMAX that is usually between 2 and 11 GHz). Conversely. WiMAX architecture. is built upon two components: radios and antennas. Most WiMAX products offer a base station radio separate from the antenna.
Why? The longer the pigtail the more signal is lost between the antenna and the radio. a measure of signal strength) for every 10 feet of cable. The popular LMR-400 cable. for example will lose about 1 dB (pronounced "dee-bee" for decibel. The antenna is connected to WiMAX radio via a cable known as a "pigtail". Radios and Enclosures Figure 10: WiMAX performance can be optimized by placing the radio in a weather resistant or weatherproof enclosure near the antenna Radio placement . One simple rule for wireless installations: keep the pigtail as short as possible. Very simply put. one may lose all signal in the cable.The chief advantage of this is that the radio is protected from extremes of heat cold and humidity all of which detract from the radio's performance and durability. having the antenna outdoors optimizes the link budget (performance of the wireless connection) between transmitter and receiver especially in line of sight scenarios. In addition. if an antenna is placed at the top of a 20-story building and the radio in the wiring closet on the ground floor.
The photo above shows the WiMAX radio deployed in an enclosure. Most WiMAX radios are rated as operating between -20 degrees Fahrenheit to 120 degrees F at the upper end. What are some strategies to ensure the antenna can be as high as possible to take advantage of line-of-sight topologies where ever possible while keeping the pigtail as short as possible? One approach is to co-locate the radio on or near the roof with the antenna in an enclosure. it is necessary to determine how well suited the radio is for local atmospherics (hot or cold). WiMAX Antennas . Next. Considerations for enclosures include: a) security and b) weather resistance-how hot or cold can your radio gets and still function? Sheet metal or fiberglass enclosures with a lock provide security. If you will be operating in locations that will exceed those parameters you need an enclosure that will shield your radio form those extremes? As the radio will generate its own heat. surrounding it with insulation will ensure the temperature of the radio will not suffer from sub-zero temperatures. Note from left to right: a) copper grounding cable on the inside of the enclosure b) Ethernet connection to the data source c) Heliax "pigtail" to the antenna (Heliax is a heavy duty. lightning resistant cable) d) 110v power via an APC UPS (note black box in top right hand corner of enclosure.
are designed to optimize performance for a given application. FM radio. just like the antennas for car radio. Omni directional antenna . sector and panel antenna each has a specific function. or TV. From top to bottom is an omni directional. The figure above illustrates the three main types of antennas used in WiMAX deployments. cell phone.Figure 11: Different antenna types are designed for different applications WiMAX antennas.
Sector antennas . An example of omni directional application is a WiFi hotspot where the range is less than 100 meters and subscribers are concentrated in a small area.Figure 12: An omni-directional antenna broadcasts 360 degrees from the base station Omni directional antennas are used for point-to-multipoint configurations. The main drawback to an omni directional antenna is that its energy is greatly diffused in broad-casting 360 degrees. This limits its range and ultimately signal’s strength. Omni directional antennas are good for situations where there are a lot of subscribers located very close to the base station.
offers greater range and throughput with less energy. Many operators will use sector antennas to cover a 360-degree service area rather than use an omni directional antenna due to the superior performance of sector antennas over an omni directional antenna. by focusing the beam in a more focused area.Figure 13: Sector antennas are focused on smaller sectors A sector antenna. Panel antennas .
There are advantages and disadvantages to both deployment schemes as described below. Outdoor CPE .Figure 14: Panel antennas are most often used for point-to-point applications Panel antennas are usually a flat panel of about one foot square. They can also be a configuration where potentially the WiMAX radio is contained in the square antenna enclosure. This configuration can also be very handy for relays. This streamlines deployments as there is no need to house the radio in a separate. The generally accepted marketing terms now focus on either "indoor CPE" or "outdoor CPE". That power source is known as Power over Ethernet (PoE). weatherproof enclosure if outdoors or in a wiring closet if indoors. Subscriber Stations The technical term for customer premise equipment (CPE) is subscriber station. Such configurations are powered via the Ethernet cable that connects the radio/antenna combination to the wider network.
Figure 15: An outdoor CPE device Outdoor CPE. RF blocking glass or steel in the building's walls. Indoor CPE Figure 16: Indoor WiMAX CPE. offers somewhat better performance over indoor CPE given that WiMAX reception is not impeded by walls of concrete or brick. In many cases the subscriber may wish to utilize an outdoor CPE in order to maximize reception via a line of sight connection to the base station not possible with indoor CPE. very simply put. courtesy Motorola . Outdoor CPE will cost more than indoor CPE due to a number of factors including extra measures necessary to make outdoor CPE weather resistant.
The most significant advantage of indoor over outdoor CPE is that it is installed by the subscriber. the service provider can ensure success on Day One of operations. it can be sold online or in a retail facility thus sparing the service provider a trip to the customer site. Currently. In addition. Indoor CPE also allows a certain instant gratification for the subscriber in that there is no wait time for installation by the service provider. many telephone companies require a one month wait between placement of order and installation of T1 or E1 services. Site Survey Before any equipment is deployed. In addition. Link Budget . By understanding the dynamics of the market where the deployment will take place and planning accordingly. This frees the service provider from the expense of "truck roll" or installation. there must be a site survey to determine what is needed in order to have a successful wireless operation. an instant delivery of service is very appealing to the business subscriber in the event of a network outage by the incumbent service provider.
etc) uses their limited spectrum allocation to deliver the best service possible while avoiding interference between their base stations. The wireless operator must make maximum use of limited spectrum assets. vegetation. Note there are nine different base stations with three different frequencies but no similarly shaded circle touches another. there would be interference between base stations because they would be operating on the same frequency.Figure 17: The link budget determines the success or failure of a wireless operation The figure above illustrates a link budget. Frequency Plan Part of the site survey process is to determine a viable frequency plan. a WiMAX operator can avoid interference from their own network The diagram above illustrates how a wireless operator (cellular. WiMAX. How does one do that? Figure 18: By reusing frequencies at different base stations. gain at the antennas ate either end) and what signal is received at the receiver. . interference from other broadcasters. If they did touch. It is the equation of the power of a signal transmitted minus detractions between the transmitter and receiver (rain.
This is not necessarily so with WiMAX. Before any one can sell a high technology product. but in achieving as short and direct a line of sight possible between base station and subscriber's CPE. they must first sell the customer on the technology.It is about windows. not roof tops Traditional wireless thinking dictated that a radio and its associated antenna should be at the highest point possible with a line of sight to a majority of the service area (note mountain tops and the Empire State Building). the value of antenna placement is not necessarily in height above subscribers. As indoor subscriber units mature. Figure 19: Imagine each window or floor paying $500 per month in WiMAX services Objections to WiMAX A discussion of WiMAX is not complete without taking on objections to the technology. .
Figure 20: Objections to WiMAX are best understood via the provisions built into the WiMAX Physical and MAC layers Source: IEEE Technology sales people invariably encounter objections to the technology they are selling. Security: Is WiMAX secure? Can anything wireless be secure? Tkip / LEAP . Quality of Service (QoS): 3. Interference: Won't interference from other broadcasters degrade the quality of the WiMAX service? Wireless is inherently unstable so how can it offer voice and video services? 2. The primary objections to WiMAX are: 1.
Nothing can be as reliable as the telephone company's service (rumored to offer "five 9s" of reliability or 5 minutes of downtime per year). CDMA. The WiMAX Working Group no doubt were aware of these objections based on experiences with earlier wireless technologies (Wi-Fi. Reliability: The answers to those objections are best understood via the Physical (known as the PHY. GSM) and have engineered WiMAX to fix failures of past wireless technologies. pronounced "fi") and Medium Access Control (MAC pronounced "Mac") Layers. MMDS. 4. Antenna Technologies & Interference Adaptive Antenna System (AAS) . LMDS.
and Software Defined Radios Figure 25: Dynamic Frequency Selection enables a radio to shift frequencies when interference is present . Dynamic Frequency Selection.Figure 24: By utilizing AAS and beam steering technologies. MIMO. This reduces the possibility of interference from other broadcasters as the beam runs straight between the two points. WiMAX overcomes interference while boosting range and throughput Adaptive Antenna Systems (AAS) use beam-forming technologies to focus the wireless beam between the base station and the subscriber.
With multiple transmitters and receivers built into the antenna. A DFS radio sniffs the airwaves to determine where interference does not occur and selects the open frequency to avoid the frequencies where interference occurs. the transmitter and receiver can coordinate to move to open frequency if/when interference occurs. Wimax range The other disadvantage of Wimax network is range. Dynamic frequency selection (DFS) does just that. . Multiple in and multiple out (MIMO) antenna systems work on the same principle.One of the simplest remedies to interference is to simply change frequencies to avoid the frequency where interference occurs. Lack of Quality The Wimax network has lack of quality service because there are hundreds of people trying to get access at the same tower so due to heavy traffic it is very hard to maintain high quality. If a user staying away from the specified environment then speed can drop considerably. Software defined radios (SDR) use the same strategy to avoid interference. Wimax technology can operate on both licensed and non licensed frequencies. Wimax Technology is powerful mobile technology but are facing some disadvantages discussed below. they have the flexibility to dynamically shift frequencies to move away from a congested frequency to an open channel. As they are software and not hardware defined. As Wimax offer 70Mbps in range with moving station but in practice it is quite different because it is possible only in specify or ideal circumstances. Wimax Disadvantages Wimax technology was designed to compete with remote locations that presently employs satellite for internet connectivity.
tower. . But if there are a lot of users in one area the speed decreases which may be 2 to 10 Mbps of shared bandwidth. Expensive network The most disadvantage of WiMAX is its installation and operational cost. Due to heavy structure. Power consuming WiMAX network is very heavy in structure therefore need much electrical support for running the overall network. satellite.Wimax Bandwidth Like other network Bandwidth is collective amongst clients in a specified zone. Wireless equipments If you are trying to use much wireless equipment at a time within WiMAX network then these equipments may cause of interference and could interfere your broadcasting data or face some compromised speed. Bad Weather The quality of services decreases in rainy season because the weather condition could interrupt the signal which may cause of bad signal and broadcasting may be stop or interrupted. antennas etc makes the WiMAX network collectively high cost network. cables etc are very slow. Data Rate The data rate of Wimax as compared to other network such as fiber optics.
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