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April 01, 2011

IEEE Approves Advanced Mobile Broadband Wireless Standard 802.16m

By Ashok Bindra
TMCnet Contributor

To provide a future evolution path for existing IEEE (News - Alert) 802.16service providers, IEEE-SA Standards Board  has approved has approved IEEE 802.16m, an amendment to IEEE Standard for Local and metropolitan area networks, Part 16 (Air Interface for Broadband Wireless Access Systems - Advanced Air Interface”).  

More than four years in the making, IEEE 802.16m is also known as WirelessMAN-Advanced air interface (www.wirelessMAN.org), which has been approved by ITU-R as an IMT-Advanced technology.

A globally relevant standard, IEEE 802.16m incorporates innovative communications technologies such as multi-user MIMO, multicarrier operation, and cooperative communications. It supports femto-cells, self-organizing networks and relays. Major worldwide governmental and industrial organizations, including ARIB, TTA (News - Alert) and the WiMAX Forum, are adopting this standard.

Last October, ITU-R agreed to incorporate this technology into its IMT-Advanced recommendation specifying systems that support low to high mobility applications, a wide range of data rates in multiple user environments, high-quality multimedia applications, and significant improvements in performance and quality of service.

“We are delighted that IEEE has recognized the completion of this comprehensive technical effort that has involved hundreds of creative and diligent professionals from over twenty countries during the last four years,” said Roger Marks, chair of the IEEE 802.16 Working Group, in a statement. He added, “Our organization was able to efficiently harmonize these innovative technologies into a clear set of specifications guiding the future development of the mobile broadband marketplace.”

To fight competition from 4G LTE (News - Alert) networks and provide an upgrade path to WiMAX operators, WiMAX Forum has also supported IEEE 802.16m by going to WiMAX Release 2 based on IEEE 802.16m.

At the CEATEC IT and electronics trade show in Japan last year, Samsung (News - Alert) demonstrated a WiMAX Release 2 network that achieved speeds of 330 Mbps. Here, in partnership with Japan's UQ Communications ISP, Samsung demonstrated wirelessly streaming of full-HD 3D videos over a WiMAX (News - Alert) 2 trial network.

Ashok Bindra is a veteran writer and editor with more than 25 years of editorial experience covering RF/wireless technologies, semiconductors and power electronics. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Janice McDuffee

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