There is 802.16d and 802.16e, and in a year or two, we will have 802.16m. The IEEE is now working on a new wireless standard called 802.16m, and the group entrusted with developing it hopes it will deliver 1 Gbps transfer rates. The IEEE says that 802.16m is "required" to meet downstream speeds of up to 1 Gbps in nomadic mode, or high efficiency/strong signal mode. The standard also has a high mobility mode which allows for 100 Mbps rates. The new standard will use MIMO technology.
The IEEE said that 802.16m is not a part of WiMAX, but there will be cross-platform compatibility between the two standards. The new standard will also be compatible with future 4G networks. In two or three years, 4G will abandon current WCDMA and CDMA2000 standards and instead be based on OFDMA. The IEEE said that 802.16m will also be OFDMA-compatible:
Here are the current specifications of 802.16m:
- Very low rate data: = 16 kbps
- Low rate data & low multimedia: = 144 kbps
- Medium multimedia: = 2 Mbps
- High multimedia: = 30 Mbps
- Super high multimedia: 30 Mbps ~ 100 Mbps /1 Gbps
The uplink speed for 802.16m is still undetermined.
Note that the IEEE committee may initially promote the technology for military purposes before moving it to the civilian market. The IEEE hopes that the military will help develop the new wireless standard faster. "Today's military requirements could become tomorrow's civilian requirements," the IEEE stated.