2.4 Predicted Products and Deployment Evolution

2.4 Predicted Products and Deployment Evolution

2.4.1 Product Types

Different types of WiMAX products are expected.

First step: CPE products. These CPE products are first outdoor (see Figure 1.5) and then indoor. These are the products already certified (mainly outdoor for the moment). For CPEs WiMAX products, some providers may require that only authorised installers should install the equipment for subscribers. It can be expected that self-installed CPEs will quickly appear.

Second step: devices installed on portable equipments. These portable equipments will first be laptops. It is expected (and probably already realised by the time of publication of this book) that these laptop-installed WiMAX devices may have a USB (Universal Serial Bus) connection, PCMCIA (Personal Computer Memory Card International Association) (less probable), a PCI (Peripheral Component Interconnect) connection or another type of connection. In this case, a WiMAX subscriber can move in a limited area (the one covered by the BS) and then nomadicity will be realised.

Later, a WiMAX internal factory-installed device in laptops will probably appear, as is already the case for WiFi. This will clearly produce a situation where WiMAX will spread widely. The difficulties encountered are of two types:

  • manufacturing devices small enough; this do not really seem to be a difficult problem:

  • radio engineering and deployment considerations, where the technology and deployment techniques should be mature enough to have a high concentration of subscribers.

Final step: WiMAX devices in PDA and other handheld devices such as a mobile phone. For this, WiMAX devices need to be even smaller. They could take the shape of the SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) cards presently used for cellular systems (second and third generation). Thus WiMAX will be a mobile network and then a competitor for 3G systems.

2.4.2 Products and Deployment Timetable

Once WiMAX evolution is described, we need to know about the timetable of these products. What about the network deployments? As of today a large number of pre-WiMAX networks exist around the world, both in developed and developing countries. These deployments are often on a scale smaller than the whole country, typically limited to a region or an urban zone. For example, in France, Altitude Telecom operator proposes a BWA subscription in four geographic departments: Calvados, Orne, Seine-et-Marne and Vendée. The displayed data rate is 1 Mb/s (June 2006). Many fixed WiMAX networks (then using the recently certified products) are imminent, some of them belonging to pre-WiMAX operators planning to upgrade to certified WiMAX.

Table 2.5 is based on documents and conferences by WiMAX actors. The (e), expected, dates are only assumptions. Some of these previewed dates may be changed in the future.

Table 2.5: WiMAX products and networks timetable: (e), expected
Open table as spreadsheet





Proprietary (pre-WiMAX); outdoor CPE




Pre-WiMAX equipments; first use of WiMAX certified products

Since January 2006, certification of fixed WiMAX equipments based on IEEE 802.16-2004 (see Section 2.3.1)

Launch of WiBro service in Korea; (e) first nomadic use of WiMAX?


(e) Indoor, self-installed; (e) first use of mobile WiMAX, wave 1 (no MIMO and AAS, etc.)

(e) Certification of mobile WiMAX equipments based on IEEE 802.16e

(e) Nomadic use of WiMAX


(e) Ramp-up of mobile WiMAX products, wave 1 and wave 2 (MIMO and AAS)


(e) Mobility