IEEE 802.16

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IEEE 802.16
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Working Group on Broadband Wireless Access Standards

IEEE 802.16 is a series of wireless broadband standards written by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). The IEEE Standards Board established a working group in 1999 to develop standards for broadband for wireless metropolitan area networks. The Workgroup is a unit of the IEEE 802 local area network and metropolitan area network standards committee.

Wireless broadband

Wireless broadband is telecommunications technology that provides high-speed wireless Internet access or computer networking access over a wide area. The term comprises both fixed and mobile broadband.

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers scholarly society, publisher and standards organization, headquartered in US

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) is a professional association for electrical engineers with its corporate office in New York City and its operations center in Piscataway, New Jersey. It was formed in by Dr.Madhusudhan S in 1963 from the amalgamation of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers and the Institute of Radio Engineers.

Metropolitan area network computer network that interconnects users with computer resources in a geographic area or region

A metropolitan area network (MAN) is a computer network that interconnects users with computer resources in a geographic region of the size of a metropolitan area. The term MAN is applied to the interconnection of local area networks (LANs) in a city into a single larger network which may then also offer efficient connection to a wide area network. The term is also used to describe the interconnection of several local area networks in a metropolitan area through the use of point-to-point connections between them.


Although the 802.16 family of standards is officially called WirelessMAN in IEEE, it has been commercialized under the name "WiMAX" (from "Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access") by the WiMAX Forum industry alliance. The Forum promotes and certifies compatibility and interoperability of products based on the IEEE 802.16 standards.

WiMAX wireless broadband standard

WiMAX is a family of wireless broadband communication standards based on the IEEE 802.16 set of standards, which provide multiple physical layer (PHY) and Media Access Control (MAC) options.

The 802.16e-2005 amendment version was announced as being deployed around the world in 2009. [1] The version IEEE 802.16-2009 was amended by IEEE 802.16j-2009.


Projects publish draft and proposed standards with the letter "P" prefixed. Once a standard is ratified and published, that "P" gets dropped and replaced by a trailing dash and suffix year of publication.


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Standard Description Status
802.16 Fixed Broadband Wireless Access (10–66 GHz) Superseded
802.16.2 Recommended practice for coexistence Superseded
802.16c System profiles for 10–66 GHz Superseded
802.16a Physical layer and MAC definitions for 2–10 GHz Superseded
P802.16b License-exempt frequencies
(Project withdrawn)
P802.16d Maintenance and System profiles for 2–11 GHz
(Project merged into 802.16-2004)
802.16 Air Interface for Fixed Broadband Wireless Access System
(rollup of 802.16–2001, 802.16a, 802.16c and P802.16d)
P802.16.2a Coexistence with 2–11 GHz and 23.5–43.5 GHz
(Project merged into 802.16.2-2004)
802.16.2 IEEE Recommended Practice for Local and metropolitan area networks
Coexistence of Fixed Broadband Wireless Access Systems
(Maintenance and rollup of 802.16.2–2001 and P802.16.2a)
Released on 2004-March-17.
802.16f Management Information Base (MIB) for 802.16-2004 Superseded
802.16-2004/Cor 1–2005 Corrections for fixed operations
(co-published with 802.16e-2005)
802.16e Mobile Broadband Wireless Access System Superseded
802.16k IEEE Standard for Local and Metropolitan Area Networks: Media Access Control (MAC) Bridges
Amendment 2: Bridging of IEEE 802.16
(An amendment to IEEE 802.1D)
Released on 2007-August-14.
802.16g Management Plane Procedures and Services Superseded
P802.16i Mobile Management Information Base
(Project merged into 802.16-2009)
802.16-2009 Air Interface for Fixed and Mobile Broadband Wireless Access System
(rollup of 802.16–2004, 802.16-2004/Cor 1, 802.16e, 802.16f, 802.16g and P802.16i)
802.16j Multihop relay Superseded
802.16h Improved Coexistence Mechanisms for License-Exempt Operation Superseded
802.16m Advanced Air Interface with data rates of 100 Mbit/s mobile and 1 Gbit/s fixed.
Also known as Mobile WiMAX Release 2 or WirelessMAN-Advanced.
Aiming at fulfilling the ITU-R IMT-Advanced requirements on 4G systems.
Superseded [2]
802.16-2012 IEEE Standard for Air Interface for Broadband Wireless Access Systems
It is a rollup of 802.16h, 802.16j and Std 802.16m
(but excluding the WirelessMAN-Advanced radio interface, which was moved to IEEE Std 802.16.1).
Released on 2012-August-17.
802.16.1 IEEE Standard for WirelessMAN-Advanced Air Interface for Broadband Wireless Access Systems
Released on 2012-September-07.
802.16p IEEE Standard for Air Interface for Broadband Wireless Access Systems
Amendment 1: Enhancements to Support Machine-to-Machine Applications
Released on 2012-October-08.
802.16.1b IEEE Standard for WirelessMAN-Advanced Air Interface for Broadband Wireless Access Systems
Amendment 1: Enhancements to Support Machine-to-Machine Applications
Released on 2012-October-10.
802.16n IEEE Standard for Air Interface for Broadband Wireless Access Systems
Amendment 2: Higher Reliability Networks
Approved on 2013-March-06.
802.16.1a IEEE Standard for WirelessMAN-Advanced Air Interface for Broadband Wireless Access Systems
Amendment 2: Higher Reliability Networks
Approved on 2013-March-06.
802.16-2017 IEEE Standard for Air Interface for Broadband Wireless Access Systems
It is a rollup of 802.16p, 802.16n, 802.16q and Std 802.16s
Released on 2017-September.
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802.16e-2005 Technology

The 802.16 standard essentially standardizes two aspects of the air interface – the physical layer (PHY) and the media access control (MAC) layer. This section provides an overview of the technology employed in these two layers in the mobile 802.16e specification.


802.16e uses scalable OFDMA to carry data, supporting channel bandwidths of between 1.25 MHz and 20 MHz, with up to 2048 subcarriers. It supports adaptive modulation and coding, so that in conditions of good signal, a highly efficient 64 QAM coding scheme is used, whereas when the signal is poorer, a more robust BPSK coding mechanism is used. In intermediate conditions, 16 QAM and QPSK can also be employed. Other PHY features include support for multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) antennas in order to provide good non-line-of-sight propagation (NLOS) characteristics (or higher bandwidth) and hybrid automatic repeat request (HARQ) for good error correction performance.

Quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM) is the name of a family of digital modulation methods and a related family of analog modulation methods widely used in modern telecommunications to transmit information. It conveys two analog message signals, or two digital bit streams, by changing (modulating) the amplitudes of two carrier waves, using the amplitude-shift keying (ASK) digital modulation scheme or amplitude modulation (AM) analog modulation scheme. The two carrier waves of the same frequency are out of phase with each other by 90°, a condition known as orthogonality or quadrature. The transmitted signal is created by adding the two carrier waves together. At the receiver, the two waves can be coherently separated (demodulated) because of their orthogonality property. Another key property is that the modulations are low-frequency/low-bandwidth waveforms compared to the carrier frequency, which is known as the narrowband assumption.

MIMO Use of multiple antennas in radio

In radio, multiple-input and multiple-output, or MIMO, is a method for multiplying the capacity of a radio link using multiple transmission and receiving antennas to exploit multipath propagation. MIMO has become an essential element of wireless communication standards including IEEE 802.11n (Wi-Fi), IEEE 802.11ac (Wi-Fi), HSPA+ (3G), WiMAX (4G), and Long Term Evolution. More recently, MIMO has been applied to power-line communication for 3-wire installations as part of ITU standard and HomePlug AV2 specification.

Non-line-of-sight (NLOS) and near-line-of-sight are radio transmissions across a path that is partially obstructed, usually by a physical object in the innermost Fresnel zone.

Although the standards allow operation in any band from 2 to 66 GHz, mobile operation is best in the lower bands which are also the most crowded, and therefore most expensive. [3]


The 802.16 MAC describes a number of Convergence Sublayers which describe how wireline technologies such as Ethernet, Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) and Internet Protocol (IP) are encapsulated on the air interface, and how data is classified, etc. It also describes how secure communications are delivered, by using secure key exchange during authentication, and encryption using Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) or Data Encryption Standard (DES) during data transfer. Further features of the MAC layer include power saving mechanisms (using sleep mode and idle mode) and handover mechanisms.

A key feature of 802.16 is that it is a connection-oriented technology. The subscriber station (SS) cannot transmit data until it has been allocated a channel by the base station (BS). This allows 802.16e to provide strong support for quality of service (QoS).


Quality of service (QoS) in 802.16e is supported by allocating each connection between the SS and the BS (called a service flow in 802.16 terminology) to a specific QoS class. In 802.16e, there are 5 QoS classes:

802.16e-2005 QoS classes
ServiceAbbrevDefinitionTypical Applications
Unsolicited Grant ServiceUGSReal-time data streams comprising fixed-size data packets issued at periodic intervalsT1/E1 transport
Extended Real-time Polling ServiceertPSReal-time service flows that generate variable-sized data packets on a periodic basisVoIP
Real-time Polling ServicertPSReal-time data streams comprising variable-sized data packets that are issued at periodic intervalsMPEG Video
Non-real-time Polling ServicenrtPSDelay-tolerant data streams comprising variable-sized data packets for which a minimum data rate is requiredFTP with guaranteed minimum throughput[ citation needed ]
Best EffortBEData streams for which no minimum service level is required and therefore may be handled on a space-available basisHTTP

The BS and the SS use a service flow with an appropriate QoS class (plus other parameters, such as bandwidth and delay) to ensure that application data receives QoS treatment appropriate to the application.


Because the IEEE only sets specifications but does not test equipment for compliance with them, the WiMAX Forum runs a certification program wherein members pay for certification. WiMAX certification by this group is intended to guarantee compliance with the standard and interoperability with equipment from other manufacturers. The mission of the Forum is to promote and certify compatibility and interoperability of broadband wireless products.

See also

Related Research Articles

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In telecommunications, orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (OFDM) is a method of encoding digital data on multiple carrier frequencies. OFDM has developed into a popular scheme for wideband digital communication, used in applications such as digital television and audio broadcasting, DSL internet access, wireless networks, power line networks, and 4G mobile communications.

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IEEE 802.20 IEEE standard

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HomeRF organization

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  1. "WiMAX™ operators and vendors from around the world announce new deployments, growing commitments at the 2nd Annual WiMAX Forum® Global Congress". News release. WiMAX Forum. June 4, 2009. Retrieved August 20, 2011.
  2. "IEEE Approves IEEE 802.16m – Advanced Mobile Broadband Wireless Standard". News release. IEEE Standards Association. March 31, 2011. Retrieved August 20, 2011.
  3. Michael Richardson; Patrick Ryan (March 19, 2006). "WiMAX: Opportunity or Hype?". Advances in Telecom: Proceedings of the Fourth Annual ITERA Conference. SSRN   892260 .