N-WEST News #13
March 19, 1999
National Wireless Electronic Systems Testbed (N-WEST)
- IEEE CREATES 802.16 WORKING GROUP ON BROADBAND WIRELESS ACCESS
- 54 ATTEND FINAL MEETING OF "802.N-WEST" STUDY GROUP
- 802.16 TASK GROUP MEETINGS: MAY 10-12, 1999 IN BOULDER (tentative)
- N-WEST IN THE NEWS
- LECTURES SPOTLIGHT IEEE/N-WEST STANDARDIZATION EFFORTS
- UPCOMING EVENTS
- NINE NEW N-WEST SUPPORTING COMPANIES
The drive toward standardization in the Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) industry accelerated when, on March 11, 1999, the world's most prestigious network standardization body chartered the IEEE 802.16 Working Group on Broadband Wireless Access. By unanimous vote, the charter was granted by the Executive Committee of the LAN/MAN Standards Committee (Project "802") of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Project 802 publishes standards defining interfaces for the world's wired and wireless local and metropolitan area networks.
The decision to create 802.16 accompanied an 802 decision to accept a Project Authorization Request (PAR) submitted by the 802 Study Group on Broadband Wireless Access. That PAR, which received final approval from the IEEE Standards Board on March 18, proposes to develop a standard which "specifies the physical layer and media access control layer of the air interface of interoperable fixed point-to-multipoint broadband wireless access systems."
The specification is to apply directly to systems "operating in the vicinity of 30 GHz" but is to be "broadly applicable to systems operating between 10 and 66 GHz." While 802.16 is proceeding with development of this air interface standard, it is also writing a second PAR to address BWA system coexistence.
Project 802 is an arm of the IEEE Computer Society. The IEEE's Microwave Theory and Techniques Society is also sponsoring the PAR. N-WEST Director Roger Marks was named interim chair of the Working Group through July 1999, when its first formal meeting will take place. A meeting of two 802.16 Task Groups is being planned for May.
The new Working Group continues to invite participation by all players in the budding worldwide BWA industry. Particularly sought are additional license holders and service providers, who are expected to benefit as standards lead to better, more reliable, and less expensive products.
54 ATTEND FINAL MEETING OF "802.N-WEST" STUDY GROUP
The IEEE 802 Study Group on Broadband Wireless Access ("802.N-WEST") held its second and final meeting on March 9-11, 1999 in Austin, Texas. 54 people from 42 companies participated. The meeting resulted in the decision to edit and then submit the air interface PAR prepared at the first Study Group meeting. Afterwards, progress continued on two fronts: (1) drafting a second PAR on BWA system coexistence; (2) creating a System Requirements document. Significant progress was made in both areas. Both project may be completed, or nearly completed, at the first 802.16 Task Group meetings, tentatively set for May 10-12.
During the two Study Group meetings, 97 people from about 70 companies, including major service providers and trade associations, participated.
NEXT MEETING: MAY 10-12, 1999 IN BOULDER (tentative)
Arrangements are being made for an Interim Meeting of two Task Groups (Sytem Requirements and Coexistence) of the IEEE 802.16 Working Group on Broadband Wireless Access. Plans are to hold the meetings in Boulder, CO from 1 pm on Monday May 10 through 5 pm on Wednesday May 12.
N-WEST IN THE NEWS
- A letter by Roger Marks, writing as Chair of the 802 Study Group on Broadband Wireless Access, appeared in the "Attitudes" section of Inter@ctive Week, March 15, 1999, p. 23. The letter ( available on-line) commented on the magazine's comparison of DSL and cable modem technologies, adding "Of course, we shouldn't forget the alternative of broadband wireless access, which we expect to be a significant competitor, especially once the IEEE 802 Study Group on Broadband Wireless Access (nwest.nist.gov) has settled on interface standards."
- A Guest Editorial entitled "Standards Make Wireless Work," by Roger Marks, appeared in Applied Microwave & Wireless, Feb., 1999.
- An article on N-WEST entitled "Broadband Wireless Industry Creates Study Group" appeared in Microwave Engineering Europe, Feb. 1999.
- A article entitled "A Wireless Testbed Project Seeks to Promote LMDS Standards," based on material submitted by Roger Marks, appeared under the author's name in Private Cable & Wireless Cable, Feb., 1999.
- An article in Network Computing entitled "LMDS: Is It a Little Too Much, a Little Too Late" praises the potential of LMDS technology but expresses the concern that "Equipment vendors don't have a full set of standards to guarantee interoperability. Without standard equipment, all components in each cell must come from the same vendor, exposing the carrier to a considerable risk. Fortunately, the IEEE 802 Study Group on Wireless Access is expected to forward a plan for LMDS standardization by next month. The LMDS folks better hope that cable modems and xDSL (Digital Subscriber Line) haven't gobbled up their market before they've had a chance to deliver compliant equipment to customers."
LECTURES SPOTLIGHT IEEE/N-WEST STANDARDIZATION EFFORTS
Roger Marks presented these talks on N-WEST and 802.N-WEST
with the support of the IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques (MTT)
Society's Distinguished Microwave Lecturer program:
- February 23, 1999: Dallas Chapter of the MTT Society
- April 12-13, 1999: 1999 IEEE Emerging Technologies Symposium on Wireless Communications and Systems, Richardson, Texas, featuring a session entitled "Local Multipoint Distribution Service Overview."
- April 22, 1999, 4 pm: Roger Marks will present a talk on "Broadband Wireless Access Standards" to the Denver/Boulder Chapter of the IEEE MTT Society as a Distinguished Microwave Lecturer. The talk takes place at NIST, 325 Broadway, Boulder, CO and is open to all.
- May 10-12, 1999 (tentative): Interim Task Group Meetings (System Requirements Task Group and Coexistence Task Group) of the IEEE 802.16 Working Group on Broadband Wireless Access, in Boulder, CO. Tentatively planned to run from 1 pm Monday through 5 pm Wednesday.
- May 25, 1999, 10 am: Roger Marks will present a talk on "Planning for Standardized Equipment" at the "LMDS and Fixed Broadband Wireless Access Conference" in Arlington, Virginia at the Sheraton National Hotel.
- May 25, 1999, 6:15 pm: Roger Marks will present a talk on "Broadband Wireless Access Standards" to the Baltimore Chapter and Washington Chapter of the IEEE MTT Society as an MTT-S Distinguished Microwave Lecturer. The talk takes place at the Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, MD and is preceded by dinner at 5:30 pm.
- June 13-17, 1999: 1999 IEEE MTT-S International Microwave Symposium, Anaheim, California.
- July 6-8, 1999: The first formal meeting of the IEEE 802.16 Working Group on Broadband Wireless Access. The meeting is part of the July 5-9 IEEE 802 Plenary Meeting, Queen Elizabeth Hotel, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
NINE NEW N-WEST SUPPORTING COMPANIES
We now have 63 N-WEST Supporting Companies as we welcome:
Dr. Roger Marks (email@example.com)