The WiMAX to Metro Strategy

The WiMAX to Metro Strategy


The possibility of offering wireless Internet to thousands of users within a 30 mile range is a huge step forward for service providers, but can they implement the technology in a timely fashion, or will it be outdated by the time it is ready? The 802.11g standard is already widely available at 54Mbps, and can be boosted to 125Mbps. The release of new products like the PowerLine Router G will allow for a 125Mbps wireless hotspot to be setup instantly without having to run any type of networking.

WiMAX has its benefits, for one it will create broad Wi-Fi networks for wireless VoIP handsets, but by the time it is widely available will 70 MB/s be worth the trouble? And will it be feasible to upgrade to faster wireless protocols once they become available?

See press release below.

Tropos Networks Unveils First Strategy to Bring WiMAX to Metro-Scale Wi-Fi

Tropos Networks, the leading supplier of equipment used to build metro-scale broadband networks, today announced the industry’s first strategy for integrating open-standard WiMAX into new and existing metro-scale Wi-Fi networks. The Tropos WiMAX integration strategy incorporates WiMAX in three phases, as follows:

Phase 1 (2005): Tropos will support 802.16-2004 WiMAX as a point-to-multipoint backhaul link from Tropos metro-scale Wi-Fi networks to local points-of-presence (PoPs). This standards-based solution will improve price/performance versus current proprietary alternatives and offer operation in both licensed and unlicensed bands.

Phase 2 (2006): Tropos will introduce 802.16-2004 WiMAX within the metro-scale Wi-Fi network to provide inter-cell connectivity. In conjunction with Phase 1, this will allow quality of service (QoS) capabilities and licensed-band operation to the edge of the network, while still supporting Wi-Fi clients. The Tropos cells will automatically select the frequency bands and access methods that provide the best end-to-end performance.

Phase 3 (2007-8): Tropos cells will support 802.16e WiMAX client connections in both licensed and unlicensed bands, along with continued support for Wi-Fi clients. This will allow both licensed-band and unlicensed-band client operation and will offer mobility enhancements.

“Our three-phase strategy allows municipalities, service providers and carriers to install metro-scale Wi-Fi today, knowing that they will be able to seamlessly integrate WiMAX as product technology matures,” said Ron Sege, President and CEO of Tropos Networks. “They can have the best of both worlds, immediately offering the high performance, low cost and ease of use Tropos metro-scale Wi-Fi networks to the installed base of over 75 million Wi-Fi clients while laying the groundwork for WiMAX and its benefits, including licensed spectrum operation, improved price/performance for point-to-multipoint backhaul, enhanced QoS capabilities and improved client mobility.”

“Through investments and technology development Intel has been and continues to be a big proponent of broadband wireless technology,” said Scott Richardson, general manager of Intel’s Broadband Wireless Division. “This strategy reinforces the complimentary nature between Wi-Fi and WiMAX and the impact it will have to bring high-speed Internet access to areas around the world.

“WiMAX is an open-standard radio technology that adds licensed spectrum support, QoS and designed-in mobility to today’s metro-scale Wi-Fi mesh networks,” said Ian McPherson, President of Wireless Data Research Group. “Dense cell, mesh networks economically bring true broadband throughput and great coverage to mobile WiMAX networks. It’s a win-win partnership.”

For more information regarding the integration of WiMAX into metro-scale wireless networks, please see the Tropos Networks white paper, “Open Standard Radio for Broadband: Wi-Fi to WiMAX,” available at