What is WiMAX 2 and what it promises

in Blog, WiMax 2, LTE, WiMAX

With 22 LTE networks expected to be in service by end 2010, further at least 45 by end 2012, WiMAX seems to be running out of favour. Still WiMAX is not out yet, new WiMAX statndard WiMAX 2 is on the way and initial deployment is expected by 2012.

WiMAX 2 is the enhancement of WiMAX technology based upon the IEEE 802.16m standard, which builds upon 802.16e by adding new capabilities while maintaining backward compatibility. WiMAX 2 promises to deliver higher system capacity with peak rates of more than 300 Mbps, lower latency and increased VoIP capacity, meeting the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) requirements for 4G or “IMT-Advanced.”

WiMAX 2 commercial products are expected to ready by late 2011 and possible commercial deployement in 2012. 

With significant improvements over its predecessor, WiMAX 2 offers a set of new features and enhancements.

  • Legacy support - continuing support and interoperability for legacy WirelessMAN-OFDMA equipment, including MSs and BSs. 
  • Services - support legacy services more efficiently than the WirelessMAN-OFDMA Reference System as well as facilitate the support different quality of service (QoS) levels for different services. 
  • Operating frequencies - operate in RF frequencies less than 6 GHz and capable to operate in frequencies identified for IMT-Advanced
  • Operating bandwidths -  support scalable bandwidths from 5 to 40 MHz. This bandwidth may be supported by single or multiple RF carriers.
  • Duplex schemes - support both Time Division Duplex (TDD) and Frequency Division Duplex (FDD) operational modes. The FDD mode supports both full-duplex and half-duplex MS operation.
  • Support of advanced antenna techniques 

- For the BS, a minimum of two transmit and two receive antennas support. where as for the MS, support of a minimum of one transmit and two received antennas.
- support MIMO, beamforming operation or other advanced antenna techniques.
- support single-user and multi-user MIMO techniques.

  • Increased spectral efficiency
  • Latency - reduced Latency as compared to the WirelessMAN-OFDMA Reference System for all aspects of the system including the air link, state transition delay, access delay, and handover
  • Support of Femto Cells and Self-Organization and Optimization features
  • Increased VoIP capacity though use of new control structure, frame structure, faster HARQ retransmissions, persistent  scheduling, group scheduling, and reduced MAC overhead.
  • Improved intra-RAT and inter-RAT handover schemes with shorter handoff interruption times
  • Improved QoS support
  • support for an enhanced multicast broadcast service (E-MBS), providing enhanced multicast and broadcast spectral efficiency

In support of the expected completion of the IEEE Standard 802.16m in the second half of 2010, the WiMAX Forum has already announced fast-tracking profiling and certification activities to prepare for WiMAX 2 product certification in  late 2011.

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