Frequently Asked Questions about BSNL WiMAX

1. What is WiMAX™ technology?

WiMAX™ is based upon the IEEE 802.16 standard enabling the delivery of wireless broadband services anytime, anywhere. WiMAX products can accommodate fixed and mobile usage models. The IEEE 802.16 standard was developed to deliver non-line-of-sight (LoS) connectivity between a subscriber station and base station with typical cell radius of three to ten kilometers. All base stations and subscriber stations claiming to be WiMAX compliant must go through a rigorous WiMAX Forum Certified™ testing process. WiMAX Forum Certified systems can be expected to deliver capacity of up to 40 Mbps per channel. This is enough bandwidth to simultaneously support hundreds of businesses with T-1 speed connectivity and thousands of residences with DSL speed connectivity. The WiMAX Forum expects mobile network deployments to provide up to 15 Mbps of capacity within a typical cell radius of up to three kilometers. WiMAX technology already has been incorporated in notebook computers and PDAs to deliver high speed mobile Internet services anytime, anywhere.

2. What will WiMAX services offer to the average consumer?

WiMAX will provide broadband connectivity anywhere, anytime, for any device and on any network.
Examples include:
High speed internet access where it is currently unavailable
Substantially increase data speeds for applications to include online gaming, streaming video, video conferencing, VoIP and location based services
Drive wireless Internet equipment and access prices to a competitive price point comparable to cable, DSL, and fiber Internet services
With a robust telecommunications infrastructure already in place in the U.S. Mobile WiMAX services from Sprint and Clearwire will reach more than 150 million consumers by year end 2008.
In Australia, WiMAX technology will establish an affordable and efficient broadband network. This wireless broadband technology is perfectly suited for regional and rural areas and the purchase and installation process of WiMAX technology is faster, simpler and cheaper than other offered solutions. Additionally, the non-line-of-sight (NLoS) capability means that WiMAX technology can provide coverage despite the challenges of geography and the limited footprint of wireline.
Taiwan has continued its leadership in the development and deployment of WiMAX operability with six commercial WiMAX licenses awarded in July 2007 for six separate Taiwanese wireless communication providers. In regions like Taiwan, where users are spread out and the wireless traffic is going a long distance, WiMAX technology provides a reliable, inexpensive solution for constant wireless broadband connectivity.
In Africa as a developing continent, WiMAX technology provides the opportunity to connect the African people with Internet and VOIP services faster and more affordably than wireline.

3. What are the key elements of WiMAX technology?

A key differentiator for WiMAX is the interoperability of WiMAX Forum Certified equipment, resulting in mass volume economy of scale and assurance for service providers that when buying equipment from more than one company, the technologies are interoperable. The WiMAX Forum has assembled an alliance of leaders in the communications and computing industries to drive a common platform for the global deployment of IP-based broadband wireless services. Other key elements include cost, coverage, capacity and standards for both fixed and mobile wireless usage models.

Lower costA standards based platform for WiMAX technology drives down costs delivering volume economics to WiMAX equipment.
Wider coverageThe technology behind WiMAX has been optimized to provide excellent non-line-of-sight (NLoS) coverage. NLoS advantages are coverage of wider areas, better predictability of coverage and lower cost as it means fewer base stations and backhaul, simple RF planning, shorter towers and faster CPE install times. Thanks to techniques for improving NLoS coverage, such as diversity, space-time coding, and Automatic Retransmission Request (ARQ), coverage are increased.
Higher capacityA key advantage of WiMAX technology is to use Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiplexing (OFDM) over Edge, GPRS, HSPA to deliver higher bandwidth efficiency and therefore higher data throughput, with more than one Mbps downstream and higher data rates. Adaptive modulation also increases link reliability for carrier-class operation and the possibility to keep higher order modulation at wider distance extend full capacity over longer distances.
Standard for all usage models (fixed to mobile)By leveraging the same technology networks, WiMAX technology will become the most cost-effective solution for carriers to deploy for any usage model from fixed to mobile.The WiMAX Forum certifies products for conformance and interoperability based upon the standards IEEE 802.16.

4. What is the data transfer speed of WiMAX technology for end users?

Users can expect to have broadband access speeds ranging from 1-37 Mbps depending on the service provider offering. Plus, there is a range difference because it depends on a number of factors, including which frequency is being used, distance of the user from the base station or node, whether there is line of site or NLoS to the base station, and the number of users on the network.
When the WiMAX Forum refers to 40 Mbps, it is referring to a single channel in wireless frequency (as part of the network) that is likely shared among multiple users. Individual users will have access to that amount of capacity, but the likelihood is they will have the ability to achieve downlink speeds of 1-5 Mbps, which is similar to the cable experience. There is the potential to burst to higher speeds, but that would depend on the operator's plans and business model.

5. Is there a difference between Fixed and Mobile WiMAX™?

Mobile WiMAX WiMAX is also called Mobile WiMAX as it can serve all usage models from fixed to mobile with the same infrastructure. Based on the IEEE 802.16e-2005 standard, Mobile WiMAX offers fixed, nomadic, portable and mobile capabilities
Does not rely on line-of-sight transmissions in lower frequency bands (2 to 11 GHz)
Provides enhanced performance, even in fixed and nomadic environments
Currently uses Time Division Duplexing (TDD)
System bandwidth is scalable to adapt to capacity and coverage needs
How many subscribers can a single WiMAX node serve?
A single WiMAX base station or node should be able to serve thousands of subscribers. The actual number of users will depend on the guaranteed bandwidth to each users and the actual spectrum used by the operator.
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