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Wireless: WiMAX

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"Currently in development is “worldwide interoperability for microwave access” (“Wi MAX”). Wi MAX is a registered trademark term promoted by the Wi MAX Forum, a group of wireless Internet hardware and software providers that certify “802.16” products for network interoperability. An “802.16”network refers to a family of specifications approved by the IEEE in 2002 for a Wireless Metropolitan Access Network (“WirelessMan” or “WMAN”). Wi MAX “is capable of transmitting network signals covering in excess of 30 miles of linear service area” and could provide “multiple shared data rates of up to 75 Mbps,” a significant advance over current Wi-Fi technology.

"Future wireless Internet standards, such as a Wi MAX network, would likely be installed in a manner similar to a Wi-Fi network. Wi MAX antennas, however, are expected to provide Internet coverage over distances of several miles versus the few hundred feet covered by Wi-Fi antennas. Thus, Wi MAX, and standards with similar coverages, would generally require fewer antennas than Wi-Fi to provide wireless Internet access for a given area." FTC Report: Should Municipalities Provide Wireless Internet Service? p. 11 Oct 2006

System Type Channel Bandwidth Channel Capacity Range Mobility Standard Completed Comment
802.16 (WiMax) 2011 GHz 70 Mbps 50 km Fixed
802.16a Jan 2003 2 - 11 Ghz
802.16 revd 3Q04
802.16d DES 2004
802.16e Mobile 3Q05 Expected to dominate. adaptive antennas

Exhibit 3-E: Announced Upgrades to the US Mobile Broadband Network (Persons Covered) Natl BB Plan p 22

  Companies 2009 2010 2011 By 2013
LTE  
  • Verizon
    (100 million)
  • AT&T (trials)
  • AT&T
    (start deployment)
  • Cox
    (start deployment)
  • MetroPCS
    (start deployment)
  • Verizon
    (entire network)
WiMAX
  • Clearwire
  • Open Range
  • Small wireless
    Internet service
    providers (WISPs)
  • Clearwire
    (30 million)
  • WISPs (2 million)
  • Clearwire
    (120 million)
 
  • Open Range
    (6 million)

Govt Activity

NIST

Draft SP 800-127 -- NIST announces the public comment release of Draft Special Publication 800-127, Guide to Security for WiMAX Technologies. Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access (WiMAX) is a wireless metropolitan area network communications technology based on the IEEE 802.16 standard. WiMAX technologies were originally developed to provide last-mile broadband wireless access, but are now more focused on cellular-like mobile architectures. Draft SP 800-127 explains the basics of WiMAX, provides information on the security capabilities of WiMAX, and gives recommendations on securing WiMAX technologies effectively. It also explains the security differences among the major versions of the IEEE 802.16 standard.

NIST requests comments on draft SP 800-127 by October 30, 2009.
Please submit comments to 800-127comments@nist.gov with "Comments SP 800-127" in the subject line
.

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