WiMAX already in Schools

10/30/2008
The most modern wireless technology of WiMAX has been already part of the curriculum at "České Vysoké Učení Technické v Praze" (Czech Technical University in Prague).
The winter semester of 2008 represents an important milestone in the Czech educational system for a future generation of the wireless specialists. Because of a long-term cooperation between INTELEK, Alvarion Ltd. and "ČVUT" (Czech Technical University in Prague), we have managed to successfully launch the most modern technology of WiMAX from Alvarion – a product line of BreezeMAX. This is a technology pursuant to the 802.16d standard, i.e. the so-called Fixed WiMAX.

Picture 1 – BreezeMAX IDU

In practice, the students can test the most modern PtMP technology with a full QoS support. They can perform measurement within the scope of their laboratory exercises aimed at comparison of Wi-Fi and WiMAX technologies. A huge benefit for the students is their option to work with modern technology they will most likely encounter after completion of their studies and after assuming their jobs. They have an option to work with technology, which is utilized by small and big operators around the world and naturally in the Czech Republic.

Picture 2 – Connection Diagram

The actual measurements are based on a block diagram shown in Picture 2. This is actually a parallel connection using the WiMAX connection and the Wi-Fi connection. The students' task is to measure both connections individually and to put a full load on these technologies. The so-called Best Effort data operation is generated and the students simultaneously make a phone call through the IP – VoIP interface. The students perform a research of the behavior of different technologies towards the prioritization of individual services, and they monitor what is happening while the line is subjected to the maximum load. Thus, in practice, they can monitor the meaning of QoS and services prioritization. During their measurements, the students detect that the Wi-Fi technology is subject to failures of the telephone connection during the full load, even the complete breakdown of the connection might happen. On the other hand, the WiMAX technology with a native QoS support works perfectly without flaws during the entire time of measuring the telephone line. The data operation receives only such data bandwidth from the device (data capacity) in order not to limit the VoIP operation. The data connection comes back to its full bandwidth after the VoIP service is terminated, and when the VoIP call is ready to be completed again, the data operation is limited adequately.

Each connection is done within the PtMP architecture – the Base Station and the Client. This is only a demonstration of the WLAN connections w/out the native QoS support. Therefore, the students are testing themselves how it feels to experience the benefits of the network with the QoS support. Already today, curriculum is being planned to be expanded by additional laboratory measurements offered by such robust technology as WiMAX. The comparison of WiMAX and Wi-Fi is always performed for a reason. WiMAX is actually a successor of the Wi-Fi technology for outdoor connections and mobile services, which are again supported natively by WiMAX. Because of using such new technology, the students gain expertise during their measurements and they become better prepared for their entry into the real life within the world of telecommunications.