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The WiMAX is coming...
The start of the new millennium is witnessing a telecommunications world that is very different from even the recent past. The huge explosion of wireless and broadband technologies over the last few years has captured the imagination and innovativeness of technologists around the world.
It has been a constant human endeavour to communicate more effectively and at the same time to be free of any bondage, physical or psychological. A similar underlying trend can also be seen in the evolution of telecommunications. The need for mobility and higher speeds in an ever-changing environment has been of paramount importance.
Clearly with ever-increasing expectation and highly dynamic technologies, challenges lie ahead, driven by the intrinsic human trait of nomadicity and the fundamental need to communicate in a feature-rich environment. With the new-found power of mobility and broadband, the telecommunications industry has tapped into an explosive technology mix that can grow exponentially once creativity and innovativeness come into play (Figure 1.1).
1.1 WIRELESS COMMUNICATION: ANY TIME,
The main factor behind this tremendous growth has been the wireless medium’s ability to satisfy substantially any two components of the three that comprise the ultimate goal of telecommunications: any
The Business of WiMAX Deepak Pareek © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd
1995 2000 2005 2010(e)
Figure 1.1 Connectivity evolution
information, any time, any place. Wireless communications systems provide anytime, anywhere communications.
The future of wireless lies in faster, more reliable methods of transferring data and, to a lesser extent, increased use of voice commands and audio improvements.
Some of the inherent characteristics of wireless communications systems which make it attractive for users, are discussed below in detail.
Wireless systems enable better communication, enhanced productivity and better customer service. A wireless communications system allows users to access information beyond their desk and conduct business from anywhere.
Wireless communications systems enable people to be better connected and reachable wherever they are.
Wireless communications systems are faster and easier to deploy than cabled networks. Installation can take place simply, ensuring minimum disruption.
WIRELESS COMMUNICATION: ANY TIME, ANY PLACE
Wireless communications systems provide flexibility, as a subscriber can have full control of his/her communication.
The initial costs of implementing a wireless communications system compare favourably with those for a traditional wireline or cable system. Communications can reach areas where wiring is infeasible or costly, e.g. rural areas, old buildings, battlefields, vehicles.
Falling Services Cost
Wireless service pricing is rapidly approaching wireline service pricing. Global Accessibility
Roaming makes the dream of global accessibility a reality, since today most parts of the globe are well covered by a wireless service provider. Roaming services also allow the flexibility to stay connected anywhere.
Wireless communications systems provide new smart services like SMS and MMS.
Wireless communications systems comprise personal devices, whereas wireline is more connected to a place, e.g. the office. In today’s world wireless communication is no longer just about cell phones; instead it is the direction in which telecommunications seem to be heading to provide all possible ways of keeping information place-independent to a greater or lesser extent (Figure 1.2).
Figure 1.2 Wireless technologies
1.2 WIRELESS NETWORKS
The tetherless nature of connectivity provides its users with almost unrestricted mobility and the facility to access the network from anywhere. While in a wired network an address represents a physical location; in a wireless network the addressable unit is a station, which is the destination for a message and is not (necessarily) at a fixed location. Although wireless networks have been around for sometime, they are gaining popularity rapidly with standardization and reductions in the cost of hardware components.
What Does ‘Wireless’ Mean?
The world is going wireless, with an ever-increasing number of people reaping the rewards of wireless communications. From mobiles to laptops and personal digital assistants (PDAs), the list of wireless technological devices is endless.
‘Wireless’ means transmitting signals using radio waves as the medium instead of wires. Remote controls for television and other customer electronic appliances were the first wireless devices to become part of everyday life. Now cordless keyboards and mice, PDAs, and digital and cellular phones are commonplace.