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More than 100 telecom operators from around the world are meeting in Taipei today to set a new standard for WiMAX802.16m. The specification is said to enable 120Mbit/s downlink and 60Mbit/s uplink in an urban scenario using 4×2 MIMO (Multiple-Input/Multiple-Output) antennas on a 20MHz-wide channel.

Roger Marks, Chairman of IEEE 802.16 Working Group, will host the Taipai WiMAX conference. Final approval of 802.16m (pdf) will let manufacturers pre-install the gear that can operate on 20 Mhz wide channels, twice that of the existing 802.16e. The update will be backwards compatible with today’s 802.16e dongles but offer double the speed (and capacity).

An ITU committee will finalize IEEE 802.16m this March following technical meetings in Taipei this week. The first 802.16m dongles should be available to consumers in late 2011, with more wide-spread commercial deployments starting in 2012 (pdf).

The driving force behind the development of 802.16m is capacity,” says Intel’s Jose Puthenkulam. “As you start to add more use, you start to see more capacity constraints. This will provide capacity for operators to grow their networks.”

Features of 802.16m include:

  • 1Gbit/s in low mobility scenarios
  • 100 Mbps for mobile use
  • Multicarrier operation
  • Extended MIMO support
  • Femto Base stations
  • Fractional Frequency Reuse
  • Multi Base station MIMO
  • Relay stations

Self-configuration and self-optimization can automatically deploy 16m base stations, says Huawei, simplifying network deployment and reducing costs. With enhanced MIMO, 16m can support a maximum of 8T8R configuration – that’s eight transmitters and eight receivers. While a single carrier can have up to 20MHz channel bandwidth, 100MHz bandwidth can be realized by aggregating several 20MHz channels.

The WiMAX Forum has started the WiMAX Release 2 project, to test for interoperability between different vendors.

Taiwan’s government-funded Industrial Technology Research Institute is working on ways to extend 802.16m to the 10 local companies with WiMax interest, said Song Ting-chen, an engineer with the institute. Possible takers are Acer, HTC and Foxconn, Song said.

Taiwan plans to invest NT$6.6 billion in a WiMAX development project that will run through 2013. The project aims to create 20,000 job openings and attract 2.2 million WiMAX wireless technology users.

The number of WiMAX service subscribers worldwide had increased to 13 million at the end of 2010 from 9 million in the second quarter of last year, according to Taiwan’s Market Intelligence Center. The number of worldwide subscribers to mobile WiMAX services will approach 59 million in 2015, while worldwide mobile broadband users will reach 1.5 billion, according to ABI Research.

Dell’Oro predicts global LTE deployments will exceed $6 billion by 2014, with annual revenues of the overall annual infrastructure market revenues forecast to reach $43 billion over the next 5 years.

The five biggest telecom equipment manufacturers in the world, Alcatel Lucent, Ericsson, Nokia Siemens Networks, Huawei and ZTE aim to get a piece of that action.

ABI Research says more than two billion of the world’s population is now being covered by high-speed data networks, with more than 500 3G networks, and over 300 WiMAX and LTE announcements to date. World-wide, mobile devices with integrated wireless broadband are expected to top 2 billion by 2014, according to research firm In-Stat.

Related Dailywireless articles include; China: The Big Picture, End Near for Indian WiMAX?, Internet Traffic: 18 Minute Gap?, LTE Vs WiMAX in Asia: World War IV?, Age of Exascale, LTE in Japan by December, ZTE Criticized, Big Contracts for Alcatel-Lucent, 3G Launches in India, Qualcomm India: For Sale?, Qualcomm Gets Indian Partners, Vendors Scramble for Indian Backhaul, India’s Broadband Auction: It’s Done, WiMAX & LTE: Policy Vs Pragmatism, WiMAX: Good News, Bad News, Yota: Planetary LTE Swap, Yota Dumps WiMAX, WiMAX Forum: Not Dead Yet

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