Towards a REAL “4G” Standard  

At the 2009 IEEE ComSoc which met on May 13 in Santa Clara (pdf), Intel’s Principal Wireless System Architect, Hassan Yaghoobi, presented a Mobile WiMAX roadmap (pdf) including IEEE 802.16e (Release 1.0), the current version of IEEE 802.16e (Release 1.5), and the next generation, IEEE 802.16m (Release 2.0).

Both the current Mobile WiMAX standard (Release 1.5) and LTE are expected to move from their current status as “3.5G” standards to an official “4G” standard, supported by the International Telecommunications Union in the next few years. The official “4G” standard will be called IMT-Advanced. A true “4G” standard is expected to deliver up to 100Mbps (mobile) and 1 Gbps (fixed).

IMT-Advanced, the official ITU “4G” standard, will actually be an umbrella of “4G” standards, supporting differing (and incompatible) WiMAX and LTE versions.

  • The LTE version of “4G” will be called LTE-Advanced. That standard is still being defined.
  • The Mobile WiMAX version of “4G” will be 802.16m.

The ITU will bless multiple “4G” standards under the “IMT-Advanced” umbrella, including both 802.16m and LTE-Advanced.

Current 802.16m progress includes features such as support for both Full Duplex (on 5 Mhz channels) and Half Duplex FDD on bands such as 700 MHz and AWS, Enhanced Multicast and Broadcast Services and interoperability.

Recent WiMAX Forum activities include:

  • WiMAX Forum is working on enabling Mobile WiMAX FDD through R1.5 Air interface.
  • Mobile WiMAX R1.5 based on IEEE 802.16/Rev2 has been submitted as an update to IMT-2000 OFDMA TDD WMAN to include FDD.
  • Preparation work is underway for development of R2.0 conformance and Interoperability specifications based on IEEE 802.16m.
  • Mobile WiMAX R2.0 is being submitted to ITU as a IMT-Advanced candidate

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