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  • Print publication year: 2008
  • Online publication date: February 2010

8 - Security in WiMax networks


The IEEE has created a new standard, called IEEE 802.16, that deals with providing broadband wireless access to residential and business customers, and is popularly known as WiMax [1]. The Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access (WiMax) is a non-profit industry trade organization that is overseeing the implementation of this standard, which is expected to replace services like Cable, DSL, and T1 line for last-mile broadband network access. It can replace these services because it has a target transmission rate that can exceed 100 Mbps. The transmission range for the WiMax devices is stated to be up to 31 miles, which also far exceeds WiFi's transmission range of approximately 100 meters [2, 3]. With such a large transmission range, a single base station is capable of providing broadband connections to even an entire city. This chapter, briefly introduces the WiMax standard and then discusses the security and privacy features of such networks.


The WiMax standard was designed with the ability to provide quality of service (QoS); as a result it can support delay-sensitive applications and services. Since it is connection oriented, it has the ability to perform per-connection QoS, allowing it to operate in both dedicated and best-effort situations.

The WiMax standard was created to meet the growing demand for broadband wireless access (BWA). This demand has proven to be challenging for service providers due to the absence of a global standard. Currently, many service providers have created proprietary solutions based on a modified version of 802.11 instead.

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