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.
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.
The 802.16e-2005 amendment version was announced as being deployed around the world in 2009. The version IEEE 802.16-2009 was amended by IEEE 802.16j-2009.
Projects publish draft and proposed standards with the letter "P" prepended, which gets dropped and replaced by a dash and year when the standards are ratified and published.
|802.16-2001||Fixed Broadband Wireless Access (10–66 GHz)||Superseded|
|802.16.2-2001||Recommended practice for coexistence||Superseded|
|802.16c-2002||System profiles for 10–66 GHz||Superseded|
|802.16a-2003||Physical layer and MAC definitions for 2–11 GHz||Superseded|
|P802.16d||Maintenance and System profiles for 2–11 GHz
(Project merged into 802.16-2004)
|802.16-2004||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)
|802.16.2-2004||Recommended practice for coexistence
(Maintenance and rollup of 802.16.2-2001 and P802.16.2a)
|802.16f-2005||Management Information Base (MIB) for 802.16-2004||Superseded|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|802.16e-2005||Mobile Broadband Wireless Access System||Superseded|
|802.16k-2007||Bridging of 802.16
(an amendment to IEEE 802.1D)
|802.16g-2007||Management Plane Procedures and Services||Superseded|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)
|802.16h-2010||Improved Coexistence Mechanisms for License-Exempt Operation||Current|
|802.16m-2011||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.
|P802.16n||Higher Reliability Networks||In Progress|
|P802.16p||Enhancements to Support Machine-to-Machine Applications||In Progress|
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 layer (MAC). 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 sub-carriers. 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-in Multiple-out (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.
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.
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:
|Unsolicited Grant Service||UGS||Real-time data streams comprising fixed-size data packets issued at periodic intervals||T1/E1 transport|
|Extended Real-time Polling Service||ertPS||Real-time service flows that generate variable-sized data packets on a periodic basis||VoIP|
|Real-time Polling Service||rtPS||Real-time data streams comprising variable-sized data packets that are issued at periodic intervals||MPEG Video|
|Non-real-time Polling Service||nrtPS||Delay-tolerant data streams comprising variable-sized data packets for which a minimum data rate is required||FTP with guaranteed minimum throughput|
|Best Effort||BE||Data streams for which no minimum service level is required and therefore may be handled on a space-available basis||HTTP|
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 
- "WiMAX™ operators and vendors from around the world announce new deployments, growing commitment at the 2nd Annual WiMAX Forum® Global Congress". News release (WiMAX Forum). June 4, 2009. Retrieved August 20, 2011.
- "IEEE Approves IEEE 802.16m - Advanced Mobile Broadband Wireless Standard". News release (IEEE Standards Association). March 31, 2011. Retrieved August 20, 2011.
- Michael Richardson; Patrick Ryan (March 19, 2006). "WiMAX: Opportunity or Hype?". Advances in Telecom: Proceedings of the Fourth Annual ITERA Conference. SSRN 892260.
- "The IEEE 802.16 Working Group on Broadband Wireless Access Standards". Official web site.
- "802.16: Broadband Wireless MANs". Get IEEE 802 official standards download.
- The WiMAX Forum
- The implications of WiMAX for competition and regulation A paper of the OECD, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
- IEEE 802.16m Technology Introduction