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Kostas Pentikousis

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Publication Details

P. Neves, K. Pentikousis, S. Sargento, M. Curado, P. Simoes, and F. Fontes, "Novel WiMAX scenarios for Future Broadband Wireless Access Networks", Chapter 3 in M. Katz and F. H.P. Fitzek (Eds.) WiMAX Evolution: Emerging Technologies and Applications, Chichester, West Sussex, UK: Wiley, 2009, pp. 47-67. ISBN: 978-0-470-69680-4.

Abstract—One of the concerns about the current Internet access technologies is that they cannot provide broadband access to all areas in a cost-effective manner. Current technologies either require a substantial investment in cabling and other infrastructure or cannot deliver broadband connections to several users round the clock. To address this issue, several proposals have been put forward that improve the efficiency of specific access technologies. For broadband wireless access, one promising option is based on the IEEE 802.16-2004, and IEEE 802.16e-2005, standards. Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access (WiMAX), is a broadband wireless access technology for local and metropolitan area networks (LANs/MANs), based on IEEE 802.16. WiMAX is an attractive broadband wireless alternative that can be used in urban and rural areas as well as in more demanding remote locations. By deploying WiMAX, broadband Internet access can be provided at only a fraction of the cost of wiring undeveloped areas.

Furthermore, IEEE 802.16 supports fixed subscriber stations, according to the IEEE 802.16-2004 standard, and mobile nodes, based on the IEEE 802.16e-2005 standard. The later allows for node mobility in broadband wireless MAN scenarios. WiMAX is capable of supporting high-mobility nodes, with velocities exceeding 60 km/h, while delivering application-layer throughput in excess of 10 Mb/s. Using different profiles,WiMAX can cover wide areas, which may reach 15 km in non-line-of-sight (NLOS) conditions and up to 50 km in line-of-sight (LOS) environments, which is extremely important for rural areas. Using this access technology, operators can reach users distributed over large areas, with low installation costs when compared to fiber, cable or Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) deployments. Operational and management costs are also expected to be lower, which is an important factor especially when considering developing countries or rural areas. Another important factor is interoperability. Presently, the WiMAX Forum is leading the development of standardized system profiles that WiMAX Forum certified equipment must comply with. As an outcome of this effort, equipment prices are expected to decrease over time, and both users and operators will be able to avoid being locked in proprietary solutions by a single vendor.

This chapter presents several scenarios for which we already envision the use ofWiMAX technology ranging from fixed to mobile solutions; from backhaul for coverage extension to last mile connectivity; from business to residential; and from urban to rural and impervious areas. Of course, this list of scenarios is not exhaustive and we expect that several more scenarios will also emerge. Let us also recall that the IEEE 802.16 working group is in fact developing its standards for both local and metropolitan wireless access. In the future, it may be the case that in-building connectivity could be provided solely withWiMAX or that, when prices become competitive, low-end profile equipment can be used as an alternative to Wi-Fi thus taking advantage of the inherent Quality of Service (QoS) and security features of WiMAX.
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TagsNetworks, Mobile computing
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Last updated: 22.11.2009