IEEE 802.20

Last updated
IEEE 802.20
Logo for iBurst
Inventor ArrayComm
Current supplier Kyocera
An iBurst desktop wireless modem by Kyocera in 2008 for IEEE 802.20 which provides an Ethernet interface IBurst-Kyocera-desktop-modem01.jpg
An iBurst desktop wireless modem by Kyocera in 2008 for IEEE 802.20 which provides an Ethernet interface

IEEE 802.20 or Mobile Broadband Wireless Access (MBWA) was a specification by the standard association of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) for mobile wireless Internet access networks. The main standard was published in 2008. [1] MBWA is no longer being actively developed.

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Standards Association (IEEE-SA) is an organization within IEEE that develops global standards in a broad range of industries, including: power and energy, biomedical and health care, information technology and robotics, telecommunication and home automation, transportation, nanotechnology, information assurance, and many more.

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 electronic engineering and electrical engineering with its corporate office in New York City and its operations center in Piscataway, New Jersey. It was formed in 1963 from the amalgamation of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers and the Institute of Radio Engineers.

Internet access individual connection to the internet

Internet access is the ability of individuals and organizations to connect to the Internet using computer terminals, computers, and other devices; and to access services such as email and the World Wide Web. Internet access is sold by Internet service providers (ISPs) delivering connectivity at a wide range of data transfer rates via various networking technologies. Many organizations, including a growing number of municipal entities, also provide cost-free wireless access.


This wireless broadband technology is also known and promoted as iBurst (or HC-SDMA, High Capacity Spatial Division Multiple Access). It was originally developed by ArrayComm and optimizes the use of its bandwidth with the help of smart antennas. Kyocera is the manufacturer of iBurst devices.

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.

ArrayComm is a wireless communications software company founded in San Jose, California, in Silicon Valley. Co-founded in 1992 by Martin Cooper, a pioneer of the wireless industry. The company is wholly owned by Ygomi LLC, under principal investor T. Russell Shields. The current headquarters is Buffalo Grove, Illinois.

Bandwidth (signal processing) difference between the upper and lower frequencies passed by a filter, communication channel, or signal spectrum

Bandwidth is the difference between the upper and lower frequencies in a continuous band of frequencies. It is typically measured in hertz, and depending on context, may specifically refer to passband bandwidth or baseband bandwidth. Passband bandwidth is the difference between the upper and lower cutoff frequencies of, for example, a band-pass filter, a communication channel, or a signal spectrum. Baseband bandwidth applies to a low-pass filter or baseband signal; the bandwidth is equal to its upper cutoff frequency.


iBurst is a mobile broadband wireless access system that was first developed by ArrayComm, and announced with partner Sony in April 2000. [2] It was adopted as the High Capacity – Spatial Division Multiple Access (HC-SDMA) radio interface standard (ATIS-0700004-2005) by the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS). The standard was prepared by ATIS’ Wireless Technology and Systems Committee’s Wireless Wideband Internet Access subcommittee and accepted as an American National Standard in 2005. [3]

Sony Japanese multinational conglomerate corporation

Sony Corporation is a Japanese multinational conglomerate corporation headquartered in Kōnan, Minato, Tokyo. Its diversified business includes consumer and professional electronics, gaming, entertainment and financial services. The company owns the largest music entertainment business in the world, the largest video game console business and one of the largest video game publishing businesses, and is one of the leading manufacturers of electronic products for the consumer and professional markets, and a leading player in the film and television entertainment industry. Sony was ranked 97th on the 2018 Fortune Global 500 list.

The Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) is a standards organization that develops technical and operational standards and solutions for the ICT industry, headquartered in Washington, D.C. The organization is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). It is the North American Organizational Partner for the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), a founding Partner of the oneM2M global initiative, a member of and major U.S. contributor to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), as well as a member of the Inter-American Telecommunication Commission (CITEL).

HC-SDMA was announced as considered by ISO TC204 WG16 for the continuous communications standards architecture, known as Communications, Air-interface, Long and Medium range (CALM), which ISO is developing for intelligent transport systems (ITS). ITS may include applications for public safety, network congestion management during traffic incidents, automatic toll booths, and more. An official liaison was established between WTSC and ISO TC204 WG16 for this in 2005. [3]

International Organization for Standardization An international standard-setting body composed of representatives from national organizations for standards

The International Organization for Standardization is an international standard-setting body composed of representatives from various national standards organizations.

Network congestion in data networking and queueing theory is the reduced quality of service that occurs when a network node or link is carrying more data than it can handle. Typical effects include queueing delay, packet loss or the blocking of new connections. A consequence of congestion is that an incremental increase in offered load leads either only to a small increase or even a decrease in network throughput.

The HC-SDMA interface provides wide-area broadband wireless data-connectivity for fixed, portable and mobile computing devices and appliances. The protocol is designed to be implemented with smart antenna array techniques (called MIMO for multiple-input multiple-output) to substantially improve the radio frequency (RF) coverage, capacity and performance for the system. [4] In January 2006, the IEEE 802.20 Mobile Broadband Wireless Access Working Group adopted a technology proposal that included the use of the HC-SDMA standard for the 625kHz Multi-Carrier time division duplex (TDD) mode of the standard. One Canadian vendor operates at 1.8 GHz.

Smart antennas are antenna arrays with smart signal processing algorithms used to identify spatial signal signatures such as the direction of arrival (DOA) of the signal, and use them to calculate beamforming vectors which are used to track and locate the antenna beam on the mobile/target. Smart antennas should not be confused with reconfigurable antennas, which have similar capabilities but are single element antennas and not antenna arrays.

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.

Radio frequency (RF) is the oscillation rate of an alternating electric current or voltage or of a magnetic, electric or electromagnetic field or mechanical system in the frequency range from around twenty thousand times per second to around three hundred billion times per second. This is roughly between the upper limit of audio frequencies and the lower limit of infrared frequencies; these are the frequencies at which energy from an oscillating current can radiate off a conductor into space as radio waves. Different sources specify different upper and lower bounds for the frequency range.

Technical description

The HC-SDMA interface operates on a similar premise as cellular phones, with hand-offs between HC-SDMA cells repeatedly providing the user with a seamless wireless Internet access even when moving at the speed of a car or train.

The standard's proposed benefits:

Some technical details were:

The protocol:

The protocol also supports Layer 3 (L3) mechanisms for creating and controlling logical connections (sessions) between client device and base including registration, stream start, power control, handover, link adaptation, and stream closure, as well as L3 mechanisms for client device authentication and secure transmission on the data links. Currently deployed iBurst systems allow connectivity up to 2 Mbit/s for each subscriber equipment. Apparently there will be future firmware upgrade possibilities to increase these speeds up to 5 Mbit/s, consistent with HC-SDMA protocol.[ citation needed ]


The 802.20 working group was proposed in response to products using technology originally developed by ArrayComm marketed under the iBurst brand name. The Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions adopted iBurst as ATIS-0700004-2005. [5] [6] The Mobile Broadband Wireless Access (MBWA) Working Group was approved by IEEE Standards Board on December 11, 2002 to prepare a formal specification for a packet-based air interface designed for Internet Protocol-based services. At its height, the group had 175 participants. [7]

On June 8, 2006, the IEEE-SA Standards Board directed that all activities of the 802.20 Working Group be temporarily suspended until October 1, 2006. [8] The decision came from complaints of a lack of transparency, and that the group's chair, Jerry Upton, was favoring Qualcomm. [9] The unprecedented step came after other working groups had also been subject to related allegations of large companies undermining the standard process. [10] Intel and Motorola had filed appeals, claiming they were not given time to prepare proposals. These claims were cited in a 2007 lawsuit filed by Broadcom against Qualcomm. [11]

On September 15, 2006, the IEEE-SA Standards Board approved a plan to enable the working group to move towards completion and approval by reorganizing. [12] The chair at the November 2006 meeting was Arnold Greenspan. [13] On July 17, 2007, the IEEE 802 Executive Committee along with its 802.20 Oversight Committee approved a change to voting in the 802.20 working group. Instead of a vote per attending individual, each entity would have a single vote. [14] [15]

On June 12, 2008, the IEEE approved the base standard to be published. [1] Additional supporting standards included IEEE 802.20.2-2010, a protocol conformance statement, 802.20.3-2010, minimum performance characteristics, an amendment 802.20a-2010 for a Management Information Base and some corrections, and amendment 802.20b-2010 to support bridging. [16]

802.20 standard was put to hibernation on March 2011 due to lack of activity. [17]

In 2004 another wireless standard group had been formed as IEEE 802.22, for wireless regional networks using unused television station frequencies. [18] Trials such as those in the Netherlands by T-Mobile International in 2004 were announced as "Pre-standard 802.20". These were based on an orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing technology known as FLASH-OFDM developed by Flarion [19] (since 2006 owned by Qualcomm). However, other service providers soon adopted 802.16e (the mobile version of WiMAX). [20]

In September 2008, the Association of Radio Industries and Businesses in Japan adopted the 802.20-2008 standard as ARIB STD-T97. Kyocera markets products supporting the standard under the iBurst name. As of March 2011, Kyocera claimed 15 operators offered service in 12 countries. [5]

Commercial use

Various options are already commercially available using:

iBurst was commercially available in twelve countries in 2011 including Azerbaijan, Lebanon, and United States. [5] [21] [22]

iBurst (Pty) Ltd started operation in South Africa in 2005. [23]

iBurst Africa International provided the service in Ghana in 2007, and then later in Mozambique, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Kenya. [24]

MoBif Wireless Broadband Sdn Bhd, started service in Malaysia in 2007, changing its name to iZZinet. [25] The provider ceased operations in March 2011.

In Australia, Veritel and Personal Broadband Australia (a subsidiary of Commander Australia Limited), offered iBurst services however both have since been shut down after the increase of 3.5G and 4G mobile data services. BigAir acquired Veritel's iBurst customers in 2006, [26] and shut down the service in 2009. [27] Personal Broadband Australia's iBurst service was shut down in December 2008.

iBurst South Africa officially shut down on August 31, 2017. [28] Users were given a choice to keep their or iBurst still keeps support staff available, however this is also expected to be shut down by the end of 2017 (no information about support remaining for the email addresses from iBurst has been given).

See also

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