5.11 WiMAX Network Infrastructure

Many features such as mobility management for handover and idle mode paging require coordination between different nodes of the network. How these features are implemented is beyond the scope of the 802.16 specification, as it only deals with the air interface between base stations and client devices. Other features, such as national and international roaming between networks, user authentication, administration and billing, are also not part of the 802.16 specification. As many vendors are developing mobile devices and network infrastructure components, a standard is required that describes these functionalities. This ensures interoperability of networks and components of different manufacturers within the network.

The main benefits of standardized WiMAX networks for subscribers are standardized hardware and software that can be mass-produced and can thus be competitively priced and used in any network. For the operator, standardized components and functionalities ensure competition among vendors resulting in competitive pricing of network components. In addition, standardized interfaces for roaming enable operators to offer services to visiting subscribers.

The following sections describe the main aspects of the WiMAX network infrastructure, which is standardized by the networking group of the WiMAX forum. Members of this body are vendors such as Intel, Samsung, Motorola, Nortel and many others who are involved in developing products for the ...

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