It's a term (and a technology) that has been bandied about for around four years now, but after waiting far too long for the next next best thing, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers has just given its oh-so-coveted stamp of approval to 802.16m. For those unfamiliar with such a term, that's the standard for next generation WiMAX, which may end up being capable of handling downstream rates of over 300Mbps. 'Course, those that were around during CEATEC last year know that Samsung already hit that in testing, but we're starting to feel as if that 1Gbps theoretical maximum that we were teased with in 2007 (and again last year) won't ever breach reality. It's tough to say what this approval means on the consumer front -- over the past four years, a tremendous amount of carriers have switched their allegiance to LTE, and even if WiMAX 2.0 finds itself ready for public consumption in the near future, it'll take a serious operator commitment before you'll ever enjoy the spoils. So Sprint, you feeling froggy?
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IEEE Approves IEEE 802.16mTM Advanced Mobile Broadband Wireless Standard

The WirelessMAN-Advanced Air Interface, already approved by ITU-R as an IMT-Advanced technology, provides a future evolution path for existing IEEE 802.16TM service providers

PISCATAWAY, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--IEEE, the world's largest professional association advancing technology for humanity, today announced that the IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA) Standards Board has approved IEEE 802.16mTM ("Amendment to IEEE Standard for Local and metropolitan area networks, Part 16: Air Interface for Broadband Wireless Access Systems - Advanced Air Interface").

"We are delighted that IEEE has recognized the completion of this comprehensive technical effort that has involved hundreds of creative and diligent professionals from over twenty countries during the last four years"

IEEE 802.16m provides the performance improvements necessary to support future advanced services and applications for next generation broadband mobile communications. In October 2010, ITU-R agreed to incorporate this technology into its IMT-Advanced Recommendation specifying systems that support low to high mobility applications, a wide range of data rates in multiple user environments, high-quality multimedia applications, and significant improvements in performance and quality of service.

A globally relevant standard, IEEE 802.16m incorporates innovative communications technologies such as multi-user MIMO, multicarrier operation, and cooperative communications. It supports femto-cells, self-organizing networks, and relays. Major worldwide governmental and industrial organizations, including ARIB, TTA, and the WiMAX Forum, are adopting this standard.

"We are delighted that IEEE has recognized the completion of this comprehensive technical effort that has involved hundreds of creative and diligent professionals from over twenty countries during the last four years," said Dr. Roger Marks, Chair of the IEEE 802.16 Working Group. "Our organization was able to efficiently harmonize these innovative technologies into a clear set of specifications guiding the future development of the mobile broadband marketplace."

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IEEE approves next generation WiMAX standard, invites you to meet 802.16m