LTE vs. WiMAX: Part 1: Introduction

in Blog, LTE, WiMAX

Rajesh Pazhyannur - Duel to the Death or Different Strokes for Different Purposes?
 
Google the phrase "LTE vs. WiMAX," and the results might lead you to think there's a battle royal going on out there – say, like the one over what to do with the U.S.'s crazy quilt of medical insurance. Here's a sampling:
 

  • The 4G Wireless War
  • LTE vs WiMAX: A Little 4G Sibling Rivalry
  • Why LTE Vs. WiMAX Isn't Your Typical Standards Battle
  • LTE vs WiMAX: SPRINT CTO attacks LTE, but admits WiMAX harder
  • This WiMAX vs LTE battle…like the US Democratic Presidential race
  • LTE vs. WiMAX: The Battle Is in the Market, Not the Lab ...
  • Face-off: LTE vs. WiMAX

 
And that's just from the first 10 hits.
 
The truth is, 4G wireless technology evolution isn't a "Betamax vs VHS" winner-take-all competition. In fact, it's not, properly speaking, a competition at all. It's an engineering question. And like all engineering questions, choosing technology depends on not just on technical factors. A simplistic answer is that  WiMAX is from Mars – data  – and LTE is from Venus – voice.
 
And just as both Mars and Venus have their essential place in the scheme of things, so LTE and  WiMAX, too, have their respective places in meeting business goals – from profitability and customer retention, to business expansion and changing market demands.
 
So let's turn down the volume and look at LTE and WiMAX in terms of architecture (mobility, security, access-gateway) and physical layers (transmission modes, duplexing types) comparatively –instead of competitively – and map these to operators' business and strategic concerns.
 
The first part describes LTE and WiMAX evolution and history. The second offers a system-level LTE and WIMAX comparison, focusing on system architecture and protocol stacks for the control and user traffic. The third part describes the air interface for LTE and WiMAX. And part four ties it all together.

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