The Technical Standards
The finalization of the broadband wireless standard, IEEE 802.16-2004, means brand-new silicon from several vendors. Also, a powerful industry consortium called the WiMAX Forum means we're about to see how good broadband wireless really can be.
IEEE 802.16 covers broadband wireless development in the 2- to 66-GHz range. The most recent version, 802.16-2004, defines a robust point-to-point or point-to-multipoint system in the 2- to 11-GHz range. Compatible with the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) HIPERMAN standard, it will be used in licensed or unlicensed bands, focused on the 2.5- and 5.8-GHz ranges in the U.S. and 3.5 GHz in Europe and elsewhere.
WiMAX is a wireless metropolitan-area network (WMAN) that covers a large area in city, small town, suburban, and rural locations. Thanks to the adoption of orthogonal frequencydivision multiplexing (OFDM) as the primary air interface, systems that work well without the need for direct line of sight (LOS) between the basestation antenna and subscriber antenna have been achieved.