Next gen WiMAX standard slated for final approval

The next generation of WiMAX, known as 802.16m, is expected to receive final approval in March and be ready for commercialization by the end of this year or in early 2012, according to IEEE officials.

The committee charged with developing WiMAX will finalize the 802.16m standard in March following technical meetings in Taiwan this week. With final approval, the new standard will offer new capabilities and efficiencies, including  4X2 MIMO in the urban microcell scenario with only a single 20 MHz TDD channel available system wide. The 802.16m standard will be designed to support both 120 Mbit/s downlink and 60 Mbit/s uplink per site simultaneously.

"By doubling the bandwidth, of course you can work at much higher data rates," Rakesh Taori, vice chair of the professional association IEEE's 802.16 working group, told IDG News Service.

After assessing six candidate submissions for the official title of "4G," the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) harmonized them into two technologies--LTE-Advanced and 802.16m technology. Therefore, 802.16m is officially 4G, unlike what is being marketed by operators today.

The question is: How many WiMAX operators will move to 802.16m? Clearwire is testing LTE, while other big WiMAX backers have decided to move down the LTE path. In addition, operators, such as Canada Xplore Barret, which is embarking on a nationwide broadband network based on WiMAX, have stipulated that the WiMAX equipment be upgradeable to LTE in the future.

For more:
- read this IDG News Service article

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