N-WEST News #30
National Wireless Electronic Systems Testbed (N-WEST)

29 June 2001



IEEE 802.16 Holds Sessions #12 and #13

The IEEE Working Group 802.16 on Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) Standards helds its Session #12 in Hilton Head, South Carolina, USA on 12-15 March 2001. 178 people attended. The session was marked by final agreement to create a unified Working Group air interface document with a common, flexible medium access control (MAC) platform supporting multiple physical layers (PHYs). The Session #12 Report provides the details.

IEEE 802.16's Session #13 took place on 14-18 May 2001 in Orlando, Florida, USA, along with meetings of IEEE 802.11, 802.15, and 802.17. 150 people attended the 802.16 meetings. Carl Bushue of Sprint became the Working Group's Secretary. The Session #13 Report provides the details.

IEEE 802.16.2 Recommended Practice on Coexistence Approved by IEEE-SA Standards Board on June 14

The 802.16.2 Recommended Practice on Coexistence was approved by IEEE-SA Standards Board on June 14, subject to minor editorial revisions. This followed acceptance in an 802.16 Letter Ballot and then unanimous approval in an IEEE-SA Sponsor Ballot. Publication is expected in July. Enhancements are already planned; a Study Group chaired by Phil Whitehead has created a draft project request to develop an amendment addressing the 2-11 GHz licensed bands and expanding the recommendations on coexistence with point-to-point systems.

IEEE 802.16 Air Interface Projects Unified

In a process finalized by the IEEE-SA Standards Board on 17 March, IEEE 802.16 is now working to create a unified air interface document with a common, flexible medium access control (MAC) platform supporting multiple physical layers (PHYs). The initial standard, to be entitled IEEE 802.16, will include the basic MAC and the 10-66 GHz PHY. Amendment 802.16a will include enhancements for 2-11 GHz licensed bands, and Amendment 802.16b will include enhancements for license-exempt operation.

IEEE 802.16 Air Interface Draft Receives Initial Approval in Working Group Letter Ballot

Draft 2 of the core 802.16 "Standard Air Interface for Fixed Broadband Wireless Access Systems" received initial approval in Working Group Letter Ballot #3, which ran from 6 February-13 March 2001. Following recirculation of Draft 3, the approval ratio is approximately 90%. Comment resolution is continuing. An IEEE-SA Sponsor Ballot Group has been formed, and the draft is expected to enter Sponsor Ballot in July.

IEEE 802.16ab Merged Document Published

The 802.16a Task Group agreed to incorporate both OFDM and single-carrier modes. The 802.16a and 802.16b Task Groups further agreed to merge their documentation. Following a special editorial meeting of 7-8 June 2001, the initial IEEE 802.16ab Merged Document was published on 18 June. Task Group Review of the document is underway until 3 July.


IEEE 802.16 continued its active relationship with Broadband Radio Access Networks (BRAN) project of the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI). In addition to a longstanding liaison relationship with ETSI's HIPERACCESS program (which roughly parallels 802.16's 10-66 GHz project), a relationship with ETSI's new HIPERMAN project (which roughly parallels 802.16a) has developed. An active liaison is in place, and 802.16 drafts are under consideration as baselines for the HIPERMAN activity. As part of the cooperation, participants of both groups are sharing private documents. The arrangement is aided by the high-level "Co-operation Agreement between ETSI and IEEE-SA" that went info effect in April 1999.



{Note: The meeting described below has been rescheduled to a later date. A briefing for those interested is still being planned. For details, contact Don DeGroot.}

Plans for a new Joint Research Center on Nonlinear Electronics in Wireless at Radio Frequencies (newRF) will be further developed at a meeting in Boulder, CO, USA, tentatively scheduled for Friday 14 September 2001, at the end of 802.16's Session #15 in nearby Denver. The newRF Center aims to take advantage of nonlinear modeling and design knowledge at the University of Colorado at Boulder (CU) and nonlinear network measurement capabilities at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The Center will allow industrial members to select, then fund, graduate research projects. Twenty three people attended a May 23 newRF Informational Meeting gathered for the IEEE International Microwave Symposium in Phoenix, Arizona, USA. The Center is led by Prof. K.C. Gupta of CU and Dr. Don DeGroot of NIST.


The 2001 IEEE Conference on Standardization and Innovation in Information Technology will be held at the University of Colorado in Boulder, CO, USA on October 3-5, 2001. This is a global forum for exploring the complex relationships between standardization and innovation. SIIT2001 is organized by the International Center for Standards Research (ICSR) at the University of Colorado; it is sponsored by IEEE and technically cosponsored by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, with several other participating organizations. This conference follows a succcessful SIIT1999 in Aachen, Germany. A selective program of 33 papers (out of 47 submitted) in planned. In addition, special speakers include Houlin Zhao (Director of the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, International Telecommunications Union); Scott Bradner (VP for Standards of the Internet Society); and Jim Carlo (Chair of IEEE 802 and Vice Chair of the IEEE Standards Association's Standards Board).


On 15 May 2001, the IEEE began offering IEEE 802 standards available for download, without charge. Each standard will become available six months after its initial publication. No IEEE 802.16 documents are yet in the program.


An IEEE-SA News Release of 20 March 2001 was entitled IEEE 802.16 Group Achieves Key Milestones

An article in the May 4, 2001 issue of EE Times, entitled Broadband wireless hunts for a fix, quoted Roger Marks on standardization.

The March 2 WAVE Report on Digital Media reported on the session Emerging Global Standards in IEEE 802.16 at the Broadband Wireless World Forum. The report said "Roger Marks of NIST, along with others on the 802.16 group, gave an excellent overview of the standards setting process and its status. This is a fast track."



Dr. Roger B. Marks
National Institute of Standards and Technology, Boulder, Colorado, USA