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What is the difference between an 802.11 access point and an 802.16 access point?

Posted on 2008-11-06
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-05
Hi Everyone;

         Currently, I am using the 802.11 wireless access point on my current setup.  Tonight, I noticed a new category or standard for wireless connections, namely, 802.16.  I assume the 802.11 is still the standard for wireless connections.  But, I am wondering what the differences are between these two.

          Thank you.
Question by:GMartin
LVL 97

Accepted Solution

Lee W, MVP earned 1400 total points
ID: 22901940
Hello GMartin,

802.16 is WiMax - a sort of super-wifi when it comes to range, supposedly being able to provide a usable signal many miles away at speeds comparable to typical broadband available today (up to 70 Mbit, depending on how far from the device you are).

This is not a standard you are likely to implement yourself.  ISPs including telecom companies and cable companies are contemplating deployment of the technology.


LVL 39

Assisted Solution

PUNKY earned 600 total points
ID: 22901941

WiMAX (IEEE 802.16) vs WiFi (IEEE 802.11)

IEEE 802.11 is a wireless LAN (indoor) protocol that was designed to operate in small cells (up to 100 meters) and that in the design phase never was considered as a point t ultipoint outdoor solution. IEEE 802.11 MAC suffers from the hiddennode problem and is known for bad performance in long distance links with many stations.

On the contrary, IEEE 802.16 was born to be a wireless metropolitan outdoor solution and was designed as an outdoor solution from the beginning. IEEE 802.16 is designed to operate in a typical cell size of 7 to 10 km and can handle distances up to 50 km. The hidden node problem was solved from the very early design phase by including DAMATDMA for the uplink where the base station allocates slots to each station.
http://www.winlab.rutgers.edu/~narayan/Nortel_CR_xjing_summary.ppt#282,2,IEEE 802.11b vs. 802.16a

Author Comment

ID: 22915523
Hi Everyone;

         Thanks so much for clarifying the differences between these two wireless connection protocols.  Using everyone's shared insights in addition to the resourceful links, I have a better understanding of the differences between 802.11 and 802.16.

          Many thanks once again.


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