Recognizing service providers’ need for flexibility to manage an ever-increasing demand for broadband data, the WiMAX Forum embraced a network evolution path to accommodate harmonization and coexistence across multiple broadband wireless access technologies within the WiMAX Advanced network. The acquisition and merger of several operators around the globe provide the opportunity for network operators for inherent multi-technology networks. These operators need vendor support to retain as many elements as possible from their current deployments, including their tower sites, RAN, backhaul, core networks, provisioning, and billing systems. Many of these operators also need regulatory provisions to allow them using their existing spectrum for the new networks and services without any restrictions on their spectrum licenses. Governments in many countries have allocated the spectrum for a specific wireless technology or a specific service (say nomadic, fixed, or mobile services), and the re-assigning procedure normally requires significant effort and cost.
WiMAX Advanced provides a path for existing WiMAX operators to benefit from coexistence of WiMAX and other IMT-2000/IMT Advanced technologies and leveraging the economies of scale associated with other ecosystems.
This paper provides deployment options to the existing WiMAX operators based on the results of a survey conducted by the WiMAX Forum across its key members in the first quarter of 2014. Three common deployment (co-existence) scenarios are discussed and evaluated, and seemingly adequate spectrums and availability of multimode terminals play key roles in facilitating successful deployments and operations.