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802.16e vs. 802.20
By Vikki Lipset
With WiMax poised to usher in the second coming of fixed wireless broadband, two Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) (define) working groups are turning their attentions to mobile broadband so you can use that high-speed connection on the road.
The emerging 802.16e and 802.20 standards will both specify new mobile air interfaces for wireless broadband. On the surface the two standards seem very similar, but there are some important differences between them. For one, 802.16e will add mobility in the 2 to 6 GHz licensed bands, while 802.20 aims for operation in licensed bands below 3.5GHz.
More importantly, the 802.16e specification will be based on an existing standard (802.16a), while 802.20 is starting from scratch. This means that products based on 16e will likely hit the market well before .20 solutions — a distinct advantage for the WiMax Forum, the group currently backing 802.16 and its permutations.
The IEEE approved the 802.16e standards effort in February with the avowed intent of increasing the use of broadband wireless access (BWA) by taking advantage of the “inherent mobility of wireless