WiMAX vs. LTE
LTEC 4550 Assignment 5
WiMAX vs LTE
What is “4G”?
In today’s wireless technology the communication companies are splitting up. Sprint and
Clearwire is carrying its WiMAX network for its new network post 3G and Verizon and other
smaller companies are carrying what is called LTE set to be turned on in Decem
ber. So what
are the differences between LTE and WiMAX? Is one better than the other?
technologies arrived from, what they can deliver to a
consumer today and what is planned to be improved from their present statistics.
By no means
is this a comparison between wirel
ess telephone providers, the purpose of this paper is to share
with you the comparison as far as the consumer is concerned (not for engineering purposes) for
the two technologies.
Worldwide Interoperability for
WiMAX was created on by an IEEE group looking to connect Local Area Networks, Metropolitan
and Wide Area Networks together on a MAC layer. In 2004 the new standard IEEE 802.16, they
introduced the new transmission scheme named Orthogonal
Frequency Division Multiple
Access or OFDMA for short. Nick named Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access
, backed by UMB,
is the next generation wireless network offered by Sprint and
Clearwire. WiMAX currently is capable of
6Mbps downstream and 1Mbps
WiMAX has been used in disaster recovery situations including the devastation
by hurricane Katrina. FEMA used this technology
for communication in and out of the
disaster areas and it has been rumored
that the technology had been used
after the tsunami in
December 04 in Indonesia.
Some think that WiMAX will be used as a “backhaul” or the
backbone of a business network(s) replacing, cable, DSL, T1 lines and more.
generation of WiMAX (WiMAX2)
and has plans to test it in 2011 with a
possible release date as soon as 2012. WiMAX2 has passed the ITU wireless standards of 4G.
Long Term Evolution
As the cell phone population grew carriers needed to become more efficient.
to research and experiment with newer technologies and they found a way to do both voice and
data. This ultimately resulted in a new organization called 3
Generation Partnership Project
(3GPP) and 3
Generation Partnership Project 2 (3
GPP2). This group has been responsible for
the development of the LTE technology.
LTE is the next generation wireless ne
Nokia, Qualcomm, Alcatel
MetroPCs, KDDI, China Mobile, DoCoMo, Verizon
currently have adopted the technology.
T&T has released that it will be leaving its HSPA network and
the LTE network in 2011
LTE is backed by 3GPP which unites telecommunications standards bodies.
speeds range from 5
12 Mbps and 2
5 Mbps on the upload.
LTE Release 10 (LT
has passed the ITU 4G wireless standards with a freeze date of March 2011. LTE
joined WiMAX 2 as an IMT
So what is better WiMAX or LTE? That is the same question a lot of us ask today. Currently it is
a race to the finish line to see whose network will stay and whose will go. Currently there are 3
major reasons one of the competitors will win it or lose it.
LTE has the higher download speeds, but what the determining factor is what you are goin
see on a day to day basis.
LTE has 3 major carriers supporting the technology, AT&T, Verizon, Alltel. WiMAX has
Google, Intel, Comcast,
LTE is set to launch in December 2010, WiMAX has already been set i
n production, September
Figure 1 is distributed
by Verizon so it can be a little bias however through my research I’ve yet
chart distributed by Sprint
about why a customer shou
ld go with WiMAX or with
an LTE partner. HSPA+ is currently what AT&T uses on their wireless networks.
Retrieved from the following onsite:
There are several people who believe that the 4G war is not really a war at all. They believe that
both technologies will coexists and spe
cialize in different areas.
Both networks have the ability
to support multiple users simultaneously and have can have stations with multiple antennas
(MIMO) to increase
throughput on a given channel. Both systems are all IP systems and are
stripped of any
element to carry circuit
switched voice. A further look will show us that:
LTE and WiMAX have a flat architecture consisting of a Base Station and an Access
Gateway. (Unlike 3G networks, there is no Base Station Controller and that function has
ed mostly in the Base Station.)
LTE and WiMAX enable the Base Stations to communicate with each other directly to
enable fast handovers.
LTE and WiMAX use an IP tunnel to transport packets between the Access Gateway and
the Base Station. (This enables lev
eraging existing IP network for efficient packet delivery
between the two elements)
We can see that both technologies are very similar in their ne
twork topologies but different when
it comes to protocols.
Both WiMAX and LTE have been doomed by the same thing. There has been enough talk and it
has happened for so long that people want to experience the new technology. WiMAX has
experienced this to a
greater extent than LTE, however WiMAX has a leg up on LTE because
they have a better financial backing and a wider market in the US. LTE on the other hand is still
being talked about and the release date keeps getting closer and closer (now set to relea
December 2010). LTE is
suppose to have a larger market base overall. WiMAX is already in use
as backhauls all over the world with applications like wireless video surveillance and traffic
synchronization. But it is believed that while WiMAX provides the
backhaul, LTE will provide the
In conclusion you have a rough understanding of speeds and who is or already is covering the
next generation of network
s and where they came from
. LTE and WiMAX are just stepping
Both have amazing networks an
d both technologies will continue to grow. As I write this
and you read the
next prototypes are already in development and the maximum speeds are
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Verizon wireless reports average speed of 5
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LTE White Paper
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