WiMAX Metro Area Mesh Networks: Technologies and Challenges
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MIMO-OFDM technology has emerged as a compelling high-speed solution for the next-generation wireless networks. The IEEE 802.16 standard-based WiMAX system will deploy MIMO-OFDM technology in the broadband wireless access (BWA) and backhaul markets that otherwise depended mostly on proprietary solutions. Standard-based solutions result in inexpensive devices and encourage large-scale deployments, bringing down the cost of the technology to end users, yet making it profitable for service providers and equipment manufacturers. Of the two deployment modes specified in the WiMAX system, mesh mode is currently optional while point-to-multipoint mode is mandatory. In this chapter, we present an overview of the PHY and medium access control (MAC) layer technologies deployed in the WiMAX system and examine the prospects and challenges of mesh operations using them. One of the main impediments for mesh operation in the WiMAX system is that network operators operating the system in licensed spectrum are not keen to provide separate radio channels for access and mesh relay services, as this reduces the numbers of users serviced per spectrum allocation. We discuss in this chapter, an interesting alternative approach that uses the concept of MIMO-multiplexing relaying at each mesh node to provide different links for the access and mesh relaying services on the same radio channel. This approach is cost-effective, and encourages more widespread WiMAX mesh network deployments.
KeywordsMedium Access Control Mesh Network Wireless Mesh Network Mesh Node OFDM Symbol
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