This report researches the IEEE 802.16e technology and markets. Early forecasts that commercialization of 4G technologies will start not before 2010 are now being reconsidered, and several 4G technologies have already been introduced, either on a commercial or trial basis. 4G characteristics include the following:
- Wireless data, voice, and video transmission
- Packet-centric environment
- Multimedia environment
- At least several Mbps (and up) rate of transmission (may be asymmetrical) in the mobile environment
- Up to 1 Gbps rate of transmission in the stationary environment
- Seamless cell transmission, including in-building and outdoor communications with various technologies.
The 802.16e wireless MAN technology has several features that allow characterizing it as belonging to the 4G family.
The report gives a detailed analysis of 802.16e technological and marketing specifics. The report consists of five major sections. In section I, we provide general considerations and introduction to the subject. Section II addresses issues connected with a timely transition from the 3G era to the 4G era. Section III is dedicated to the analysis of the 802.16e technology and markets. It includes the following:
- Specifics of 802.16d
- The analysis of major enhancements for 802.16e
- The analysis of 802.16e standards, including drafts
- The analysis of the 802.16e certification process
- The analysis of the 802.16e networks' subscriber bases
- The analysis of the 802.16e service providers’ revenue
- The analysis of the 802.16e equipment manufacturers’ sales revenue
- The analysis of the 802.16e equipment vendors’ portfolios (more than 50 vendors).
Section IV is a brief survey of technologies that compete with 802.16e. Note that our marketing analysis reflects some uncertainty in the direction of the industry due to multiple candidates (with similar characteristics) for the 4G MAN family of technologies. Section V is conclusions.
Major Report Findings
- 802.16e technology is in a more “mature” state than many competing technologies
- This technology is supported by major standard organizations, such as the IEEE and ITU
- These organizations have already approved some 802.16e standards
- The technology created a strong industrial basis. Manufacturers include chip and platform vendors; this report analyzes portfolios of more than 50 such vendors
- The 802.16e market geography shows that the North America and Asian (Korea and Taiwan, in particular) regions are the most advanced in technology development and network deployments
- Many 802.16e products have already been certified by the Mobile WIMAX Forum
- Multiple 802.16e-based networks exist around the globe. All major vendors (such as Alcatel-Lucent, Motorola, and Siemens, among others) are involved in such network deployments and trials
- Multiple applications, including public safety communications, intelligent transportation system, and high-speed Internet, are helping to create a multibillion-dollar 802.16e market
- All factors above allow making a conclusion that the 802.16e technology is an advanced 4G candidate. It is too early to make a prediction regarding 4G roads and turns, but this report shows the value of 802.16e, and, based on the existing phase of high-speed wireless MAN technologies development projects, a bright future for mobile WiMAX.
Considerable research was done using the Internet. Information from various Web sites was studied and analyzed; evaluation of publicly available marketing and technical publications was also conducted. Telephone conversations and interviews were held with industry analysts, technical experts, and executives. In addition to these interviews and primary research, secondary sources were used to develop a more complete mosaic of the market landscape, including industry and trade publications, conferences, and seminars.
The overriding objective throughout the work has been to provide valid and relevant information. This has led to a continual review and update of the information content.
This report provides the IEEE 802.16e technology and market analysis and assessments that are useful for service providers, vendors, network operators and managers, enterprise IT staff, investors, and end users seeking to gain a deeper understanding of 802.16e opportunities and barriers.
For systems vendors, integrators, and others, the report provides an analysis and assessment of competing products currently available, as well as an estimate of the overall opportunities in the coming years. End users can gain a more thorough understanding of a product’s market and capabilities as well as the economics of using 4G technologies to improve cost-efficiency.