• Wi-Fi “Wireless Access Points”
  • Wi-Fi Interference and Antennae
  • WiMAX Radios and Antennae
  • WiMAX Security and Deployment
  • Comparing Wi-Fi to WiMAX
  • and 802. 16 (WiMax) wireless networks itm 440 Introduction to Networks and the Internet




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    802.11 (WiFi) and 802.16 (WiMax) wireless networks

    ITM 440 Introduction to Networks and the Internet
    Professor Kevin Vacarro
    Student Steve Talbot

    ABSTRACT

    “Wi-Fi” is the common name for IEEE 802.11 wireless LAN (local area network). It consists of two fundamental technologies, DSSS and Spread Spectrum. There are many advantages of implementing a wireless local area network (WLAN), including material cost, installation cost, simultaneous connections and global scope of Wi-Fi standards. Many electronic devices can be used on a Wi-Fi network, including computers, mobile phones, music players, digital cameras and Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs). A wireless access point (WAP) is the interface point between devices and a Wi-Fi network. A wireless LAN Controller handles authorization, encryption, power and channel allocation. Range can be significantly increased through the use of directional antennas. WAPs operating within close proximity must select from a limited set of frequencies. A WAP for a Wi-Fi device is generally made up of a wireless router paired with a DSL or cable modem. Overcrowding and overuse of the available bandwidth can be a problem for offices and apartment buildings where many WAPs are located within close proximity to one another. Electromagnetic interference from mobile phones, microwave ovens and PDAs can reduce signal quality of the Wi-Fi connection. “Pattern Antenna Diversity” is the practice of placing multiple antennae in close proximity, where each antenna has a different radiation pattern. Security of Wi-Fi networks started with the use of Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) algorithms to encrypt data sent over the network. However, WEP turned out to be an insecure algorithm, and Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA, WPA2) was invented to replace WEP. “Wi-Fi Direct” is a future application of Wi-Fi. It allows Wi-Fi devices to connect without the need of a WAP. “Ad Hoc Mode” for standard Wi-Fi networks is the practice of connecting Wi-Fi devices without the need of “Wi-Fi Direct”. Wi-Fi could be combined with cellular networks to provide seamless connectivity. Medical devices could be outfitted with Wi-Fi connections. “Mesh Networks” consisting of Wi-Fi enabled devices could provide a synergistic effect.


    “WiMAX” (Worldwide interoperability for Microwave Access) is the IEEE 802.16 standard for wireless broadband transmissions, and it is considered to be the main wireless alternative to DSL and Cable connections. IEEE 802.16d is concerned with the immobile version of WiMAX (“Fixed WiMAX”). IEEE 802.16e is an amendment of IEEE 802.16d and is concerned with the mobile version of WiMAX (“Mobile WiMAX”). WiMAX can use either “licensed frequencies” or “unlicensed frequencies”. So-called “subscriber units” or WiMAX devices are available as outdoor units or as indoor units. Mobile WiMAX devices can be integrated with Wi-Fi devices, including laptops, cell phones, gaming devices and music players. WiMAX is popular because of it has a high value of “spectral efficiency”. As distance increases between links, the WiMAX bit rate decreases. WiMAX is composed of a transmitter and a receiver. The transmitter is a large antenna mounted to a tall tower, similar to currently deployed cellular telephone towers. The receiver can be an external antenna or an internal laptop or desktop antenna, linked to the user’s computer. “Non-line-of-sight” broadcast is used to link a user computer to a WiMAX tower. A “link budget” is the equation used to calculate the power level at a receiver node (Prx). A “Frequency Plan” is the layout of WiMAX base stations such that adjacent stations do not broadcast at the same frequency, thus avoiding frequency interference. WiMAX utilizes the technology known as “Adaptive Antenna System” (AAS) to overcome interference difficulties. The use of “Dynamic Frequency Selection” (DFS) allows WiMAX radios to detect when interference on the current frequency is beyond an allowed limit. For WiMax, all devices are subject to a scheduling algorithm that decides when transmission and reception should occur. The cost of purchasing access to a WiMAX network would be in theory less than currently wired ISPs, because the cost due to laying wire is absent. Demand for video surveillance equipment is on the rise following renewed concerns of the affects of terrorism. WiMAX is similar to Wi-Fi, except that WiMAX operates at higher speeds, over greater distances, and for a larger number of uses.

    TABLE OF CONTENTS

    Abstract…….……………………………………………………………………………………………… 2

    Table of Contents…..……………………………………………………………………………………… 3

    Wi-Fi Overview…………………………………………………………………………………………… 4

    Wi-Fi Advantages…….…………………………………………………………………………………… 4

    Wi-Fi “Wireless Access Points”...………………………………………………………………………… 5

    Wi-Fi Interference and Antennae……..…………………………………………………………………… 5

    Wi-Fi Security...…………………………………………………………………………………………… 6

    Wi-Fi Future…..…………………………………………………………………………………………… 6

    WiMAX Overview………………………………………………………………………………………… 8

    WiMAX Radios and Antennae…….……………………………………………………………………… 9

    WiMAX Interference..…………………………………………………………………………………… 10

    WiMAX Security and Deployment.……………………………………………………………………… 11

    WiMAX Future…...……………………………………………………………………………………… 11

    Comparing Wi-Fi to WiMAX.…………………………………………………………………………… 12

    References…...…………………………………………………………………………………………… 13



    Wi-Fi Overview

    “Wi-Fi” is the common name for IEEE 802.11 wireless LAN (local area network). It consists of two fundamental technologies. The first technology, used for IEEE 802.11b is single carrier (channel), direct-sequence spread spectrum (DSSS) radio technology. This technology incorporates “white noise” when modulating an information signal. The bandwidth of the information data is embedded within the bandwidth of the transmitted signal. The portion of the signal which is not considered to be data is recognized as white noise. “Spread Spectrum” means that the carrier signal bandwidth uses up all the bandwidth of the transmitting signal. [1,2]


    The second technology, used for IEEE 802.11g (Wi-Fi) and IEEE 802.16 (WiMax) is multi-carrier Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM) radio technology. Closely spaced, orthogonal carriers or channels are used to transmit data. Interference due to wire attenuation or between channels is greatly reduced over that of other techniques. [1, 3]
    IEEE 802.11a has a frequency of 5 GHz and a maximum data rate of 54 Mbps. IEEE 802.11b has a frequency of 2.4 GHz and a maximum data rate of 11 Mbps. IEEE 802.11g has a frequency of 2.4 GHz and a maximum data rate of 54 Mbps. IEEE 802.11n has a frequency of 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz and a maximum data rate of 450 Mbps. [17]
    The IEEE 802.11 specifies that transmission is in the 2.4 GHz band. In the U.S., this translates to 11 channels, where only channels 1, 6 and 11 are operational in practice. In Europe, the channels 1, 5, 9 and 13 out of channels 1 – 13 are operational. Japan has 14 channels with similar operational channels as the others listed here. [1]
    The first wireless LAN (WLAN) product was called WaveLAN and had speeds of between 1 and 2 Mb/s. Wi-Fi is a play on the word Hi-Fi, which itself stands for High Fidelity for sound recordings and playback. Wi-Fi, however, is simply a brand name which is not meant to be a technically accurate description of the technology. [1]

    Wi-Fi Advantages

    There are many advantages of implementing a WLAN. First, the material cost and the installation cost is reduced over a wired solution. Second, locations such as outdoor facilities become tractable. Third, many simultaneous connections can be handled on site, where before many physical Ethernet outlets would have otherwise been necessary. Fourth, devices where a network connection would otherwise be awkward, such as gaming systems, cameras and PDAs now can connect with ease. Fifth, Wi-Fi standards are global in scope, such that all devices which conform to the Wi-Fi standard are interoperable (unlike the cacophony of mobile telephone technologies). [1]


    Many electronic devices can be used on a Wi-Fi network. Desktop and laptop computers, mobile phones, music players, digital cameras and Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) can all have installed wireless modems which interface with a Wi-Fi network. Devices connect to the WI-FI network via a “wireless access point” (WAP) or “hotspot”. Home-based WAPs are often wireless routers, which consist of a WAP, a level-3 router and a level-2 switch. Wi-Fi can be used to service many hosts at once, or as a peer-to-peer setup to connect two computers directly. Wi-Fi can be used for security cameras or for tele-medicine devices, where real-time operating systems housed within embedded systems are employed. [1, 4]

    Wi-Fi “Wireless Access Points”

    A Wireless Access Point (WAP) is the interface point between devices and a Wi-Fi network. A wireless LAN Controller handles authorization, encryption, power and channel allocation. The nominal capabilities of a WAP are the ability to service around 30 hosts. The nominal range for IEEE 802.11g WAPs is 30 meters indoors and 100 meters outdoors. The range for IEEE 802.11n WAPs is about double that of IEEE 802.11g. Range can be significantly increased through the use of directional antennas. However, many factors can attenuate or augment the nominal capabilities. These factors include the nature of the antenna used, power rating of the signal, interference from other devices and simple attenuation of the signal over distance. Repeaters can be used to boost the signal, thus improving the range of the WAP. However, the Wi-Fi standard requires more power input than other wireless standards to achieve its range requirements. Standard Wi-Fi setups have difficulty transmitting around buildings and trees. Therefore, so-called Long Range Wi-Fi setups with antennas on rooftops are employed to achieve range. [1, 4]


    WAPs operating within close proximity must select from a limited set of frequencies. As the number of frequencies runs out, individual WAPs must contend with interference from nearby WAPs using the same frequencies. In addition, due to sharing frequencies, only about half of the available bandwidth is utilized by WAPs. So, a WAP connection with nominal operating bit rate of 54 Mb/s actually operates at around 20 – 25 Mb/s. This speed is much slower (an order of magnitude) than similar wired connections. [1]
    WAPs include both private and public setups. Private setups include home networks and private business use (warehouses for inventory, retail for point of sale). Public setups include hotels (lobbies, rooms), airport terminals, cafes, coffee shops, university campuses, libraries and taverns. [1]
    A WAP for a Wi-Fi device is generally made up of a wireless router paired with a DSL or cable modem. The wireless router is responsible for receiving from and transmitting to the Wi-Fi device. The wireless router handles IP routing and DNS management. Also, the wireless router is responsible for communicating with the Internet Service Provider (ISP) via the DSL or cable modem. [1]

    Wi-Fi Interference and Antennae

    Overcrowding and overuse of the available bandwidth can be a problem for offices and apartment buildings where many WAPs are located within close proximity to one another. Also, many electronic devices share the 2.4 GHz band used by Wi-Fi. These devices include microwave ovens, security cameras, ZigBee devices, Bluetooth devices, cordless phones and baby monitors. Overuse can be overcome by manually configuring the Wi-Fi device to switch to the 5 GHz band. [1]


    IEEE 802.11n brings with it antenna innovations. IEEE 802.11g is set up as a SISO (single input single output) device, where a wireless router expects a single antenna for both transmission and reception. However, the newer IEEE 802.11n standard leverages multiple antennas is several possible arrangements. MISO (multiple input, single output), SIMO (single input, multiple output) and MIMO (multiple input, multiple output) configurations are possible. When multiple users are accessing a WAP, the distribution of users is spread out among the available antenna, allowing for easier parallelism between router access. Connection speed for each user is kept at a sufficient level, whereas use of IEEE 802.11g would exhibit slower speeds for concurrent connections. [16]
    Single users are also accommodated in the IEEE 802.11n standard. Electromagnetic interference from mobile phones, microwave ovens and PDAs can reduce signal quality of the Wi-Fi connection. However, when MIMO, MISO or SIMO is employed, multiple antennas can be dedicated to a single user, thus boosting quality of service for the Wi-Fi device. Redundant signals can be compared and rectified to achieve the true signal. Using redundant signals to boost quality of service is called “Antenna Diversity”. [16]
    “Spatial Antenna Diversity” is the practice of separating Wi-Fi antennae by a specific distance which can aid signal reception. This distance is usually equal to 1 wavelength distance of the signal being propagated. “Pattern Antenna Diversity” is the practice of placing multiple antenna in close proximity, where each antenna has a different radiation pattern. Each antenna is unidirectional, often providing better performance than a single omni-directional antenna. Polarization diversity is the practice of making pairs of antenna have opposite polarization. Receiving pairs will in general each receive different signals, which can be used to determine the clean signal. Dirty Paper Coding is a mathematical scheme whereby the transmitted signal is encoded using the DPC algorithm, so that receiving side can properly remove signal additions due to interference. Multiple Source Single User (MSSU) is the idea that instead of sending redundant messages via each antenna, a single message could be split up into pieces, with each piece broadcast on a separate antenna. Each of these areas has been implemented or may be implemented in Wi-Fi systems. [16]

    Wi-Fi Security

    Security of Wi-Fi networks started with the use of Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) algorithms to encrypt data sent over the network. However, WEP turned out to be an insecure algorithm, and Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA, WPA2) was invented to replace WEP. WEP is vulnerable to eavesdropping on the network in order to recover the WEP encryption key. Once the encryption key is discovered, all further encrypted packets sent over the network can be decoded. In fact, WEP is so insecure that using a personal computer and off-the-shelf software, a WEP encryption can be cracked within a few minutes or less. [5] WPA2 is a superior algorithm to both WEP and WPA, where WPA replaces WEP and WPA2 replaces WPA. WPA2 is currently the algorithm used for modern Wi-Fi devices. [6]


    Both wired and wireless networks employ encryption and passphrases as security measures. Wired security includes keeping unwanted users from gaining physical access to the wired network, and using a firewall to control network access. For wireless security, physical access is only limited by the broadcasting range of the wireless network. Therefore, wireless networks are inherently less secure than wired networks, regardless of the use of encryption and passphrases. [1]
    The unauthorized use of a WAP is called “Piggybacking”. Oftentimes, piggybacking is done unintentionally. Wi-Fi WAPs are very susceptible to piggybacking. Encryption is often turned off by default, and the user’s operating system connects to the WAP with the strongest connection without prompting from the user. When the best connection is on a stranger’s unsecured WAP, the user’s operating system may connect to the stranger’s WAP automatically. Unless the user closely examines their connection every time that they turn on their computer, a user may unwittingly be connected to a stranger’s WAP instead of their own intended WAP. [1]

    Wi-Fi Future

    The future of Wi-Fi is in many different directions. “WiFi Direct” is one such future application of Wi-Fi. It allows Wi-Fi devices to connect without the need of a WAP. Mobile phones, cameras, printers and laptops will be able to share a peer-to-peer connection whenever a WAP is unavailable. [11] Digital picture frames could upload camera data, and printers could connect to laptops or mobile phones. Wireless keyboards and wireless mice may also use the new standard. [13] Connected devices will be able to reach current Wi-Fi speeds, say around 250 Mbps. Also, several devices will be able to connect simultaneously, with only 1 of the devices required to be compatible with Wi-Fi Direct. The “Wi-Fi Direct” device will operate a “software based access point” (Soft AP) and act as the central coordinator for all other connecting devices. These Soft APs could even function as providers of internet access. [13] In addition, this new technology is fully backwards compatible with existing Wi-Fi devices. Wi-Fi direct devices will be able to advertise their availability as well as search for other peer devices. [11, 12]


    “Wi-Fi Direct” competes directly with the Bluetooth standard in the PAN domain. While Bluetooth has a lower power requirement, Wi-Fi has longer range and faster transmission speeds. Bluetooth has experienced “Bluejacking”, where an attacker connects to a Bluetooth device anonymously, but only within the 20 – 30 feet of the Bluetooth device. Similar attacks could be made using a “Wi-Fi Direct” connection, and because the range is increased (up to 300 feet [14]), the possibility for attack is increased. Therefore, “Wi-Fi Direct” is projected to employ WPA2 encryption for standard networks and AES encryption for more sensitive networks. [12]
    Because “Wi-Fi Direct” allows for direct connection between “Wi-Fi” enabled devices, wireless routers are no longer needed to establish and maintain the connection. This development means that significant “sales erosion” is expected to occur to makers of wireless routers, such as companies Cisco and Netgear. On the flip side, television manufacturers welcome “Wi-Fi Direct” as a new way to allow digital cameras and camcorders to wirelessly upload pictures and video as never before. [14]
    “Ad Hoc Mode” for standard Wi-Fi networks is the practice of connecting Wi-Fi devices without the need of “Wi-Fi Direct”. However, it requires manual configuration to connect devices. Also, it has security weaknesses related to lack of encryption of broadcast signals. Whereas Wi-Fi Direct addresses security and can automatically search and connect with other Wi-Fi devices. [17] Also, much as Wi-Fi is a standard in many electronic devices today, Wi-Fi Direct will likely become a standard that is supported by both Intel and Apple. In addition, current users of Wi-Fi would be able to download the upgrade to Wi-Fi Direct in order to become Wi-Fi Direct compatible. [14]
    Wi-Fi could be combined with cellular networks to provide seamless connectivity. A user connected to a network at a WAP in an office using their mobile phone could transition seamlessly to a cellular network or a satellite network as they leave the office and head to their car in the parking lot. Software on the mobile phone would regulate the changeover, as well as manage the charges accrued while using the cellular network. The software could then also choose between available cellular carriers, depending on usage rate and upload/download speeds. The user would also be allowed to manually select the carrier, or the user would be bound to their current mobile phone carrier. Wi-Fi built in to mobile phones would allow a user to place VoIP phone calls over Wi-Fi instead of over a cellular network. [19]
    Medical devices could be outfitted with Wi-Fi connections. For instance, the “call” button in hospital rooms could wirelessly page nurses. The nurses would not be bound to their workstations, but rather could roam the hospital performing other duties. These pages could be made to a PDA-like device, which could also have access to patient records via a patient database. Nurses, while engaged in other duties, could make decisions about their paging patient en route to a hospital room. In addition, roll-cart computer stations wheeled into rooms would be freed from needing to make a wired connection to the network. [19]
    “Mesh Networks” consisting of Wi-Fi enabled devices could provide a synergistic effect. A PC could stream an mp3 file to an electronic stereo system, using the home refrigerator as an intermediate transmission point. A PC could stream video to an electronic television. The streaming signal would be protected as each intermediate transmission point would allow the signal to avoid interference from other electronic devices and attenuation due to large metal objects and walls. [19]

    WiMAX Overview

    “WiMAX” (Worldwide interoperability for Microwave Access) is the IEEE 802.16 standard for wireless broadband transmissions, and it is considered to be the main wireless alternative to DSL and Cable connections. WiMAX can be used instead of a DSL or Cable modem to connect Wi-Fi WAPs to the internet. [7]


    The IEEE 802.16 standard is further divided into IEEE 802.16-2004 (IEEE 802.16d) and IEEE 802.16-2005 (IEEE 802.16e). IEEE 802.16d is concerned with the immobile version of WiMAX (“Fixed WiMAX”). IEEE 802.16e is an amendment of IEEE 802.16d and is concerned with the mobile version of WiMAX (“Mobile WiMAX”). A mobile ISP connection is nice to have for disaster areas where other modes of communication have been compromised. This was exactly the case during the Hurricane Katrina episode of 2005 and during a tsunami in Indonesia in 2004, where mobile WiMAX allowed locals the ability to communicate with outside friends, family and authorities about their respective conditions. [7]
    WiMAX can use either “licensed frequencies” or “unlicensed frequencies”. “Fixed WiMAX” tends to be the unlicensed frequencies, and “Mobile WiMAX” tends to use the licensed frequencies. Licensed WiMAX tends to be used in an urban environment, while unlicensed WiMAX tends to be used in rural environments. Licensed WiMAX is regulated by the government so that implementations do not interfere with other units. Unlicensed WiMAX is not regulated by the government, so it is up to individual units to ensure that they do not interfere with other neighboring units. Unlicensed WiMAX has 480 MHz spectrum at the 5 GHz band, which allows for plenty of freedom from interference. The licenses for licensed WiMAX can cost billions of dollars. Therefore, many companies are strongly motivated to avoid the use of licensed WiMAX in favor of the unlicensed WiMAX option. Licensed WiMAX takes significant time to apply for and receive licensing from the government. Unlicensed WiMAX has no latency due to applying for a license. Licensed WiMAX actually has less capacity, with small channel sizes of 1-7 MHz. Unlicensed WiMAX has larger channel sizes of up to 40 MHz. [21]
    So-called “subscriber units” or WiMAX devices are available as outdoor units or as indoor units. Outdoor units are about the size of a desktop computer and are usually professionally installed like a satellite dish installation. Indoor units are about the size of a modem and are typically installed by untrained users. The driving force which motivates the installation of an outdoor unit is the interference present, the difficulty of broadcasting within closed spaces and power requirements to achieve broadcast. Outdoor units are able to overcome these impediments since there is less constraint on unit size for outdoor units. [7]
    Mobile WiMAX devices can be integrated with Wi-Fi devices, including laptops, cell phones, gaming devices and music players. WiMAX is considered a competitive technology with cell phone networks, or can be used along with cell phone networks to increase network capacity. When WiMAX is used along with cell phone technology, it can be used as so-called “backhaul” technology, connecting the core telephony network to edge networks and finally to individual cellular links. [7, 8, 9]
    The IEEE 802.16d standard specifies WiMAX operation for 2 to 11 GHz and for 10 to 66 GHz. Also, the IEEE 802.16d standard specifies 200 out of 256 sub-carriers. The IEEE 802.16e standard specifies multiple antenna support, which enhances coverage, power consumption and bandwidth efficiency. Frequency bands include 2.3 GHz, 2.5 GHz and 3.5 GHz bands. In the U.S.A., 2.5 GHz band is typically used. In Asia, 2.3 GHz band is used, except in India and Indonesia which use both 2.5 GHz and 3.3 GHz band, and in Pakistan which uses 3.5 GHz band. [9]
    WiMAX is popular because of it has a high value of “spectral efficiency”. IEEE 802.16d is said to have a spectral efficiency of 3.7 bit/sec-Hz. Also, the spectral efficiency of WiMAX is said to be based on its use of Scalable OFDM technologies along with so-called “smart antenna” technologies. High-gain directional antennas can be used to increase WiMAX performance, but at a cost to mobility. [9]
    WiMAX is rated to perform at 70 Mb/s. In reality, as distance increases between links, the WiMAX bit rate decreases. WiMAX is rated to perform at a maximum distance of 50 km, but at this distance a significant number of bit errors have been known to occur. Reducing the range to below 1 km can significantly reduce the number of bit errors during transmission, increasing the bit rate capacity. A portion of the bit rate is devoted to downlink, with the rest devoted to uplink. Also, the total bit rate is typically divided up between users, so that each user typically receives 2 – 3 Mb/s bit rates. [9]

    WiMAX Radios and Antennae

    WiMAX is composed of a transmitter and a receiver. The transmitter is a large antenna mounted to a tall tower, similar to currently deployed cellular telephone towers. The receiver can be an external antenna or an internal laptop or desktop antenna, linked to the user’s computer. The WiMAX tower can operate over an area of up to 3000 square miles. The WiMAX tower is connected to an ISP via a landline. From there, the WiMAX tower communicates with users via broadcast, or via intermediary WiMAX towers that are connected together via microwave link. [10]


    A WiMAX radio generates electromagnetic signals at a frequency called the “carrier frequency”, usually between 2 and 11 GHz. A WiMAX radio is similar to a Router in that they both have circuit boards loaded with complex networking software. The WiMAX system is composed of a radio with 1 or more antennas, where the antennas can be physically separated from the radio for optimum antenna placement. The radio can be placed indoors within a building, with 1 or more antennas placed on the building rooftop. The radio is protected from the extremes of the environment by being placed indoors. The antennas have better visibility for “line-of-sight” scenarios by being placed on the rooftop. The cable connecting the antennas to the radio is called the “pigtail”. A rule of thumb is to keep the pigtail as short as possible, minimizing “attenuation”, where signal strength is reduced as cable lengths increase. Therefore, if the antennas are located on a rooftop, the radio should be placed on a floor of the building that is as close to the rooftop as possible. When pigtail length is of prime importance, radios can be placed outdoors on the rooftop next to antennas, with a protective enclosure which shields the radio from environmental effects. Enclosures that are sufficient to shield the radio from the environment can be made from metal or fiberglass, with insulation to guard against temperature extremes. [24]
    “Non-line-of-sight” broadcast is used to link a user computer to a WiMAX tower. It operates at lower frequencies, around 2 – 11 GHz, which provides functionality despite the presence of physical obstacles which would otherwise obfuscate the signal. “Line-of-sight” broadcast is used to link a WiMAX tower to another WiMAX tower. Linking towers together allows broadcasts to reach distant rural areas. Frequencies reach up to 66 GHz for “line-of-sight” broadcasts, reducing interference and providing more bandwidth for transmission. [10]
    “Point-to-Point” (P2P) broadcast is used to connect a single receiver to a single transmitter. This is generally used for the “backhaul” section of a network (connecting Central Office to Base Station). These are called “backhaul WiMAX radios”. Both range and throughput are higher for P2P broadcast due to a strongly focused transmission. [23]
    “Point-to-Multipoint” (PMP) broadcast is used to make the “last mile” connections. A single base station connects a sub-network of heterogeneous End User Systems (EUS). “Non-line-of-sight” broadcast is possible for WiMAX, providing adequate service in urban areas where “line-of-sight” connectivity is at a premium. [23]
    A “link budget” is the equation used to calculate the power level at a receiver node (Prx). Prx is equal to Ptx + Gtx – Apl + Grx – Am. “Ptx” is the power level of the transmitting node. “Gtx” is the antenna gain of the transmitter node. “Apl” is called “path loss”. “Grx” is the antenna gain of the receiver node. “Am” is the miscellaneous loss term due to signal diffraction, intervening trees, metal or brick walls and glass, etc. Installers use this formula to decide on proper setups in order to maximize reception signal strength and to minimize signal losses. [25]
    A “Frequency Plan” is the layout of WiMAX base stations such that adjacent stations do not broadcast at the same frequency, thus avoiding frequency interference. Frequencies are selected such that no base station has a neighbor with the same frequency. Once a subset of neighbors has been developed in this fashion, subsets are “reused” as a template for subsequent frequency selections. Thus if base stations A, B and C are chosen to have frequencies 1, 2 and 3, subsequent groups of base stations (X, Y, Z, etc) will incorporate the same frequency pattern 1, 2 and 3. [25]

    WiMAX Interference

    Interference is to be expected with a WiMAX setup. WiMAX utilizes the technology known as “Adaptive Antenna System” (AAS) to overcome interference difficulties. A transmission beam is focused between the base station and the Central Office. A beam focused straight between two nodes reduces interference. Also, the use of “Dynamic Frequency Selection” (DFS) allows WiMAX radios to detect when interference on the current frequency is beyond an allowed limit. Upon detection of interference, the radio searches for a new available frequency channel and changes reception or transmission to this new channel. In addition, the use of “Multiple In Multiple Out” (MIMO) antennas means that frequency changes are performed with less difficulty. Finally, the use of “Software Defined Radios” (SDR) allows WiMAX radios to switch frequencies within the radio software instead of via radio hardware, offering more flexibility for the system. [26]


    “Quality of Service” (QoS) is a measure of the ability a communications network to perform. The three most serious concepts affecting a WiMAX network are latency, jitter and packet loss. Latency is the time required to send a message. Jitter is a measure of the variations in latency. Packet loss is a measure of the number of “packets” or pieces of a delivered message which do not arrive at a destination. WiMAX latency is lowest during the wireless portions of a network. The wired connections between WiMAX base stations if they exist are the greatest contributors to latency. Also, jitter is reduced at the wireless portions due to the lower latencies. Packet loss is addressed by WiMAX’s ability to perform adequately in “Non-Line-of-Sight” scenarios. In addition, WiMAX performs something called “Traffic Prioritization” to handle different levels of QoS. [27]
    For Wi-Fi, all devices compete for access to the network resources on a randomly selected schedule. For WiMax, all devices are subject to a scheduling algorithm that decides when transmission and reception should occur. Subscriber stations compete for initial entry into the Base station network at the Data Link layer, and thereafter have a dedicated time slot in which to broadcast. The scheduling algorithm greatly enhances the throughput and other Quality of Service parameters of WiMAX systems. [9]

    WiMAX Security and Deployment

    A terrorist attack could destroy wired connections to ISPs. Instead, the government or the military could construct WiMAX stations within heavily armored bunkers. With redundant transmitters constructed, no single attack could take down the entire network. Officials using the network could continue communicating throughout an attack despite best attempts to thwart communications. [10]


    WiMAX base stations may be purchased by city governments to attract businesses to for instance financial districts. The base stations would provide wireless internet access, similar to how Wi-Fi hotspots are provided, but covering a much larger area. Businesses may also install WiMAX base stations and proceed to charge users for access. On the other hand, businesses may also provide access to their WiMAX network free of charge as an incentive to purchase their products, as is currently done for cafes and coffeeshops with smaller Wi-Fi networks. The cost of purchasing access to a WiMAX network would be in theory less than currently wired ISPs, because the cost due to laying wire is absent. [10]
    VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) allows users to make phone calls over the internet using their computer. If WiMAX is widely deployed in a city, then users could bypass their phone providers and place VoIP phone calls without charge (except for the price of WiMAX access). This reality increases the competitiveness of VoIP and should cause telephone and cell phone providers to change their price structures in a manner that should benefit consumers. [10]

    WiMAX Future

    Demand for video surveillance equipment is on the rise following renewed concerns of the affects of terrorism. Similar to rural areas, hard to reach areas that require increased surveillance at seaports, airports, schools, hospitals and government buildings can be covered using unlicensed WiMAX. Therefore, these regions can be provided wireless backhaul of real-time video surveillance. WiMAX has built-in scheduling and Quality of Service mechanisms which make it a superior choice for delivery of video. WiMAX eliminates the cost of wire backhaul, can be quickly deployed, can be deployed in most terrains, and can be integrated with Wi-Fi networks. Wired backhaul can cost between 5 and 10 times greater than a WiMAX solution. WiMAX systems do not require trenching, which is the digging of conduits for wires (copper, fiber), and greatly adds to the overall cost of a video surveillance project. Cameras no longer need to be stationed next to a wire connection, where cameras can now be moved as needed with less tear down and setup time required. The best WiMAX system used in video surveillance has 99.999% availability, with only 5 minutes total per year. WiMAX can provide up to 54 Mbps capacity, more than enough for the typical video surveillance application. [22]


    “Smart Grids” are the proposed future vision for Electric Utilities. They consist of utility networks that are “self-healing”, allow consumers to sell extra power (say that derived from solar panels or electric cars), resist attack, allow consumers to monitor real-time power usage to enhance management of utilities by the consumer, and have increased efficiency. Utilities will need to create a new network that can handle transmission, security and timeliness of delivery of “Smart Grid” transmissions. Using WiMAX for this purpose has been proposed. [20]

    Comparing Wi-Fi to WiMAX

    Comparing Wi-Fi to WiMAX reveals similarities and differences between the two standards. WiMAX is similar to Wi-Fi, except that WiMAX operates at higher speeds, over greater distances, and for a larger number of users. Wi-Fi can reach up to a radius of 4 – 6 miles. WiMAX can reach up to a radius of 3000 square miles. [10] WiMAX uses both unlicensed and licensed frequencies to provide internet connectivity. Wi-Fi provides network accessibility on unlicensed frequencies only. WiMAX provides both mobile and fixed versions of network accessibility. Wi-Fi is only fixed access to network. WiMAX can provide mobility whereas Wi-Fi typically offers limited mobility (except possibly where Wi-Fi works in tandem with mobile phone networks). WiMAX establishes connections between a base station and a user in order to allow user access to a network. Wi-Fi is based on the IP model of connectionless network access. WiMAX typically has lower bit rates than Wi-Fi. Both WiMAX and Wi-Fi can establish Peer-to-Peer connections between users and servers on separate LANS. Wi-Fi can be used in conjunction with WiMAX, where Wi-Fi provides LAN connectivity and WiMAX provides access to the ISP. [9, 10]



    References

    [1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wi-Fi

    [2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Direct-sequence_spread_spectrum

    [3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OFDM

    [4] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wireless_access_point

    [5] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wired_Equivalent_Privacy

    [6] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wi-Fi_Protected_Access

    [7] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wi-Fi

    [8] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Backhaul_(telecommunications)

    [9] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WiMax

    [10] http://www.howstuffworks.com/wimax1.htm

    [11] http://www.wi-fi.org/news_articles.php?f=media_news&news_id=909

    [12]http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/173699/wifi_direct_could_be_the_death_of_bluetooth.html

    [13] http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2354201,00.asp

    [14] http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/oct2009/tc20091013_683659.htm

    [15] http://www.csmonitor.com/2004/0105/p13s02-wmgn.html

    [16] http://www.windowsnetworking.com/articles_tutorials/Evolution-future-Wi-Fi-Part2.html

    [17] http://www.itpro.co.uk/616987/the-future-of-wi-fi-without-networks

    [18]http://www.em.avnet.com/aam/home/0,2039,RID%253D%2526CID%253D56368%2526CAT%253DRFN%2526CCD%253DUSA%2526SID%253D32214%2526DID%253DDF2%2526LID%253D37586%2526PRT%253D0%2526PVW%253D%2526PNT%253D%2526BID%253DDF2%2526CTP%253DAAM,00.html

    [19] http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/feb2004/tc20040218_1565_tc140.htm

    [20] http://www.livescience.com/technology/080603-wireless-future.html

    [21] http://www.wimax.com/commentary/blog/blog-2009/november-2009/smart-grids-what-they-mean-for-wimax-1102

    [22] http://wimax.com/commentary/blog/blog-2009/august-2009/the-wireless-video-surveillance-opportunity-why-wimax-is-not-just-for-broadband-wireless-access-anymore-0826/?searchterm=RobbHenshaw

    [23] http://www.wimax.com/education/wimax/wireless_architectures

    [24] http://www.wimax.com/education/wimax/radios

    [25] http://www.wimax.com/education/wimax/site_survey



    [26] http://www.wimax.com/education/wimax/antenna_technologies

    [27] http://www.wimax.com/education/wimax/qos

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    and 802. 16 (WiMax) wireless networks itm 440 Introduction to Networks and the Internet

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