1st official 4G standard approved: IEEE Std 802.16m

Today the IEEE-SA Standards Board officially approved IEEE P802.16m/D12 as IEEE Std 802.16m. Publication is scheduled for early May.  The ITU-R previously recognized the 802.16m draft standard in progress as meeting the requirements of IMT Advanced  Now it’s a done deal.  (Note that the term “WiMAX” is the WiMAX Forum trade name for IEEE 802.16 Wireless MAN technology).

The new IEEE 802.16m standard is backward compatible with the most current version of  IEEE 802.16e-2005

 IEEE 802.16 Working Group’s Session #72 took place on 14-17 March 2011 in Singapore.  Here are a few selected task group reports:

1. The ITU-R Liaison Group met through the week and prepared a number of documents. For more details, see the ITU-R Liaison Group Report. Highlights include:

  • A contribution to ITU-R Working Party 5D (WP 5D) contains the details of the WirelessMAN-Advanced specification to be included in the ITU’s IMT-Advanced Recommendation. In parallel, a formal notification was provided to ITU-R regarding the WirelessMAN-Advanced “Global Core Specification” (GCS).
  • A statement was issued to the WirelessMAN-Advanced Transposing Organizations (WATO) – namely, ARIB, TTA, WiMAX Forum, and IEEE – summarizing the WATO meeting held on 15 March in conjunction with 802.16 Session #72.
  • A contribution notified WP 5D of IEEE’s intent to update the IEEE 802.16 specification in the next update of ITU’s IMT-2000 recommendation.


GRIDMAN Task Group
The Working Group’s GRIDMAN Task Group met to discuss activity under the P802.16n project. The project is amending IEEE Std 802.16 to provide for “Higher Reliability Networks.” The TG reviewed many contributions and established two Rapporteur Groups to make further progress between meetings. Four teleconferences were scheduled. The WG called for contributions proposals for the Amendment Working Document (AWD) based on the completed System Requirements Document (SRD). The TG issued a closing report, with minutes to follow.

Machine-to-Machine Task Group
The Machine-to-Machine (M2M) Task Group met to address the P802.16p project, which is amending IEEE Std 802.16 to provide “Enhancements to Support Machine-to-Machine Applications.” The 802.16p Amendment Working Document (AWD) was progressed. The TG called for comments on the AWD and the System Requirements Document (SRD). It also issued a Call for Contributions for a new 802.16p Evaluation Methodologies Document (EMD). A closing report and minutes were issued.

More details at:  <http://ieee802.org/16/meetings/mtg72/report.html>.

IEEE 802.16 Session #73 will take place on 16-19 May 2011 in Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada

Plans are being made for a Smart Grid workshop on Monday morning. 

Who Will Implement 802.16m?

At the CEATAC trade show in Tokyo last year, Samsung demonstrated a pre-standard 802.16m network that achieved a speed of 330M bps. The standard is designed to provide speeds of about 100M bps to end users. It can use several techniques to surpass the performance of current WiMAX technology, including MIMO (multiple-in, multiple out) technology for sending more than one stream of data. It can also be used with small base stations called femtocells and with self-organizing networks, according to the IEEE.

Comment: With all the large telcos opting for LTE and Clearwire having trouble raising funds to build out its WiMAX network, we wonder what telcos will actually implement IEEE 802.16m and will it be able to interwork/ handoff to LTE/ LTE Advanced. We think the entire WiMAX ecosystem should refocus their efforts on a low cost version of Fixed WiMAX that can be used to provide fixed broadband access to rural or underserved/ unserved areas in both developed and developing countries.