Thursday, July 28, 2011


Designing, deploying, and managing any wireless cellular system requires clear objectives to be identified from the outset. These includes definition of the footprint coverage, the estimated number of users, the traffic load distribution, the penetration and growth rate, and internetwork access and roaming. Mobile WiMAX, which will be deployed like 2G and 3G cellular networks, supports fractional frequency. Fractional frequency reuse takes advantage of the fact that mobile WiMAX user transmit on subchannels and does not occupy an entire channel such as in 3G. The objective of the radio network dimensioning and design activity is to estimate the number of sites required to provide coverage and capacity for the targeted service areas and subscriber forecast. This process is based on many assumption such as uniform distribution of subscribers, homogenous morphology, and ideal site location. The main inputs required for network dimensioning are site equipment-specific parameters, marketing-specific parameters, and licenses regulation and propagation models. Figure 1 shows the flow chart of activities performed in network design and planning, starting from data collection of marketing and design requirement input and achieving the business model to provide a nominal site plan using a network simulation software.

Figure 1: The cell planning process.
Mobile WiMAX is designed to complement existing 2G/3G access technologies with an “Always Best Connected” experience with voice and data connections. There is a large range of possible scenarios for the deployment of mobile WiMAX, but main four categories are
  • Fixed and mobile operator with enhanced data for GSM evolution (EDGE)/3G who uses mobile WiMAX as a complementary extension for data services
  • Mobile only operator with EDGE/3G who uses mobile WiMAX as a complementary extension for data services
  • Fixed operator who uses mobile WiMAX to compete with 3G operators for data and voice services
  • New entrant who uses mobile WiMAX to move into mobile market—threat to incumbent mobile operator.
WiMAX operates in a mixture of licensed and unlicensed bands. The unlicensed bands are typically the 2.4- and 5.8-GHz bands. Licensed spectrum provides operators control over the usage of the band, allowing them to build a high-quality network. The unlicensed band, on the other hand, allows independence to provide backhaul services for hotspots. Typical area licensed WiMAX spectrum allocations are
  • Lower 700 MHz (US) with 2 × 6 MHz channels
  • 2.5 GHz Multichannel Multipoint Distribution Service with 15.5 MHz in US and 72 MHz in Canada
  • 3.5 GHz Wireless Local Loop with 2 × 2 MHz channel blocks
  • 5.8 GHz UNI (license exempt) with 80 MHz allocation
WiMAX access networks are often deployed in point-to-multipoint cellular fashion where a single BS provides wireless coverage to a set of end users stations within the coverage area. The technology behind WiMAX has been optimized to provide both large coverage distances of up to 30 km under line-of-sight (LOS) situations and typical cell range of up to 8 km under NLOS. In an NLOS, a signal reaches the receiver through reflections, scattering, and diffractions. The signals arriving at the receiver consists of many components from direct and indirect paths with different delay spreads, attenuation, polarizations, and stability relative to the direct path. WiMAX technology solves or mitigates the problem resulting from NLOS conditions by using OFDMA, Subchannelization, directional antennas, transceiver diversity, adaptive modulation, error correction, and power control. The NLOS technology also reduces installation expenses by making the under-the-eaves customer premise equipment (CPE) installation a reality and easing the difficulty of locating adequate CPE mounting locations.
Both LOS and NLOS coverage conditions are governed by propagation characteristics of their environment, radio link budget, and path loss. In both the cases, relays help to extend the range of the BS footprint coverage allowing for a cost-efficient deployment and service.
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