WiMAX, meaning Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access, is a telecommunications technology that provides wireless transmission of data using a variety of transmission modes, from point-to-multipoint links to portable and fully mobile internet access. The technology provides up to 10 Mbit/s [1] broadband speed without the need for cables. The technology is based on the IEEE 802.16 standard (also called Broadband Wireless Access). The name “WiMAX” was created by the WiMAX Forum, which was formed in June 2001 to promote conformity and interoperability of the standard. The forum describes WiMAX[2] as “a standards-based technology enabling the delivery of last mile wireless broadband access as an alternative to cable and DSL”.[3]WiMAX, (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access) adalah merupakan teknologi akses nirkabel pita lebar (broadband wireless access atau disingkat BWA) yang memiliki kecepatan akses yang tinggi dengan jangkauan yang luas. WiMAX merupakan evolusi dari teknologi BWA sebelumnya dengan fitur-fitur yang lebih menarik. Disamping kecepatan data yang tinggi mampu diberikan, WiMAX juga merupakan teknologi dengan open standar. Dalam arti komunikasi perangkat WiMAX diantara beberapa vendor yang berbeda tetap dapat dilakukan (tidak proprietary). Dengan kecepatan data yang besar (sampai 70 MBps), WiMAX dapat diaplikasikan untuk koneksi broadband ‘last mile’, ataupun backhaul.


The terms “WiMAX”, “mobile WiMAX”, “802.16d” and “802.16e” are frequently used incorrectly.[4] Correct definitions are the following:

* 802.16-2004 is often called 802.16d, since that was the working party that developed the standard. It is also frequently referred to as “fixed WiMAX” since it has no support for mobility.
* 802.16e-2005 is an amendment to 802.16-2004 and is often referred to in shortened form as 802.16e. It introduced support for mobility, among other things and is therefore also known as “mobile WiMAX”.


The bandwidth and range of WiMAX make it suitable for the following potential applications:

* Connecting Wi-Fi hotspots to the Internet.
* Providing a wireless alternative to cable and DSL for “last mile” broadband access.
* Providing data and telecommunications services.
* Providing a source of Internet connectivity as part of a business continuity plan. That is, if a business has both a fixed and a wireless Internet connection, especially from unrelated providers, they are unlikely to be affected by the same service outage.
* Providing portable connectivity.

Integration with an IP based Network
The WiMAX Forum WiMAX Architecture

The WiMAX Forum has proposed an architecture that defines how a WiMAX network can be connected with an IP based core network, which is typically chosen by operators that serve as Internet Service Providers (ISP); Nevertheless the WiMAX BS provide seamless integration capabilities with other types of architectures as with packet switched Mobile Networks.

The WiMAX forum proposal defines a number of components, plus some of the interconnections (or reference points) between these, labeled R1 to R5 and R8:

* SS/MS: the Subscriber Station/Mobile Station
* ASN: the Access Service Network[12]
* BS: Base station, part of the ASN
* ASN-GW: the ASN Gateway, part of the ASN
* CSN: the Connectivity Service Network
* HA: Home Agent, part of the CSN
* AAA: Authentication, Authorization and Accounting Server, part of the CSN
* NAP: a Network Access Provider
* NSP: a Network Service Provider

It is important to note that the functional architecture can be designed into various hardware configurations rather than fixed configurations. For example, the architecture is flexible enough to allow remote/mobile stations of varying scale and functionality and Base Stations of varying size – e.g. femto, pico, and mini BS as well as macros.

Comparison with Wi-Fi

Comparisons and confusion between WiMAX and Wi-Fi are frequent because both are related to wireless connectivity and Internet access.

* WiMAX is a long range system, covering many kilometers, that uses licensed or unlicensed spectrum to deliver a point-to-point connection to the Internet.
* Different 802.16 standards provide different types of access, from portable (similar to a cordless phone) to fixed (an alternative to wired access, where the end user’s wireless termination point is fixed in location.)
* Wi-Fi uses unlicensed spectrum to provide access to a network.
* Wi-Fi is more popular in end user devices.
* WiMAX and Wi-Fi have quite different quality of service (QoS) mechanisms.
* WiMAX uses a mechanism based on connections between the base station and the user device. Each connection is based on specific scheduling algorithms.
* Wi-Fi has a QoS mechanism similar to fixed Ethernet, where packets can receive different priorities based on their tags. For example VoIP traffic may be given priority over web browsing.
* Wi-Fi runs on the Media Access Control’s CSMA/CA protocol, which is connectionless and contention based, whereas WiMAX runs a connection-oriented MAC.
* Both 802.11 and 802.16 define Peer-to-Peer (P2P) and ad hoc networks, where an end user communicates to users or servers on another Local Area Network (LAN) using its access point or base station.

Spectrum allocation issues

The 802.16 specification applies across a wide swath of the RF spectrum, and WiMAX could function on any frequency below 66 GHz,[13] (higher frequencies would decrease the range of a Base Station to a few hundred meters in an urban environment).

There is no uniform global licensed spectrum for WiMAX, although the WiMAX Forum has published three licensed spectrum profiles: 2.3 GHz, 2.5 GHz and 3.5 GHz, in an effort to decrease cost: economies of scale dictate that the more WiMAX embedded devices (such as mobile phones and WiMAX-embedded laptops) are produced, the lower the unit cost. (The two highest cost components of producing a mobile phone are the silicon and the extra radio needed for each band.) Similar economy of scale benefits apply to the production of Base Stations.

In the unlicensed band, 5.x GHz is the approved profile. Telecommunication companies are unlikely to use this spectrum widely other than for backhaul, since they do not own and control the spectrum.

In the USA, the biggest segment available is around 2.5 GHz,[14] and is already assigned, primarily to Sprint Nextel and Clearwire. Elsewhere in the world, the most-likely bands used will be the Forum approved ones, with 2.3 GHz probably being most important in Asia. Some countries in Asia like India and Indonesia will use a mix of 2.5 GHz, 3.3 GHz and other frequencies. Pakistan’s Wateen Telecom uses 3.5 GHz.

Analog TV bands (700 MHz) may become available for WiMAX usage, but await the complete roll out of digital TV, and there will be other uses suggested for that spectrum. In the USA the FCC auction for this spectrum began in January 2008 and, as a result, the biggest share of the spectrum went to Verizon Wireless and the next biggest to AT&T.[15] Both of these companies have stated their intention of supporting LTE, a technology which competes directly with WiMAX. EU commissioner Viviane Reding has suggested re-allocation of 500–800 MHz spectrum for wireless communication, including WiMAX.[16]

WiMAX profiles define channel size, TDD/FDD and other necessary attributes in order to have inter-operating products. The current fixed profiles are defined for both TDD and FDD profiles. At this point, all of the mobile profiles are TDD only. The fixed profiles have channel sizes of 3.5 MHz, 5 MHz, 7 MHz and 10 MHz. The mobile profiles are 5 MHz, 8.75 MHz and 10 MHz. (Note: the 802.16 standard allows a far wider variety of channels, but only the above subsets are supported as WiMAX profiles.)

Since October 2007, the Radio communication Sector of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU-R) has decided to include WiMAX technology in the IMT-2000 set of standards.[17] This enables spectrum owners (specifically in the 2.5-2.69 GHz band at this stage) to use Mobile WiMAX equipment in any country that recognizes the IMT-2000.


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