WiMAX (IEEE Standard 802.16) is an advancement of the WiFi (IEEE Standard 802.11) standard of wireless communication. It supports long-range wireless connectivity (of up to 30 miles) and faster data transfer speeds (ideally up to and well beyond 50 Mbps). Unlike WiFi, which supports both client-to-access-point and peer-to-peer (ad-hoc) connectivity, WiMAX is not a consumer technology standard, and as such, WiMAX only supports client-to-base-station connectivity. Furthermore, because of the scope of WiMAX, equipment is generally unavailable for scientific experimentation. As part of the GENI project, WiMAX technology is being adapted into the ORBIT Wireless Test Bed to facilitate experimentation.


In order to perform research on WiMAX networking, it is first necessary to modify the equipment to allow for user-defined values to be submitted as network configuration profiles: also known as programming. The thrust of my research involves deciding which features of WiMAX are germane to experimenters and can be deemed mutable, and which parameters are core to the functionality of the equipment and must be left constant.


Currently, my research utilizes the Domain-Specific Language of the ORBIT Management Framework which encapsulates experiment description, execution, and data collection. Through experimentation, I hope to discover which parameters can be considered germane, and which can be safely restricted.


As I studied the WiMAX setup at ORBIT, I authored a pair of walk-throughs to enable other researchers to rapidly acclimate to our environment and enable them to proceed directly to experimentation.

Tutorial 1 is a primer on WiMAX drivers, utilities, and setup at ORBIT.
Tutorial 2 is a basic dummy OMF experiment using WiMAX as the connection medium.

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I am currently studying the experimental effects of radio frequency attenuation on modulation coding schemes on the ORBIT test bed. I expect that coding schemes with greater spectral efficiency are, by nature, more susceptible to signal degradation. My current setup uses the iperf utility and establishes one WiMAX radio node as a server and one WiMAX base station node as a client. My data seem promising, and I am investigating certain anomalous behavior of higher QAM's.

The experiment topology:

Experiment Topology 6 <------> 9

The bandwidth degradation across varying levels of attenuation for various MCS:

MCS Response To Attenuation


Jeff Rabinowitz

Last modified 7 years ago Last modified on Aug 16, 2012, 9:06:06 PM

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