This chapter provides a comparative study between LTE and WiMAX. Surfing the Internet looking for details about the two technologies unveils a fierce competition. However, we can safely say that this competition is confined to sharing the wireless broadband market rather than a technological competition. The reason behind this, as was established in the previous chapters, is the many similarities between the PHY and MAC functionalities used in the two. In fact, they adopted the same technologies and only differed in implementation. As a result, it is not expected that one of them will eliminate the other, but they will rather smoothly integrate after the market wars settles down. Therefore, it is logical to provide a comparative instead of a competitive study of the two.
This chapter is organized as follows. Section 15.1 contrasts the evolution towards the two IMT-Advanced technologies. Section 15.2 is dedicated to comparing the spectral efficiency performance, and comments on the implementation and adoption of both OFDMA and MIMO. Spectrum flexibility and the application of carrier aggregation techniques are discussed in Section 15.3. Finally, Section 15.4 compares network architectures.