LTE and WiMAX: Comparison and Future Perspective


Two wireless technologies, WiMAX based on IEEE standards and LTE standardized by 3GPP, are two competing technologies, nevertheless, are very technically similar. This competition started with the advent of their pre-4G versions (802.16e for Mobile WiMAX and 3GPP release 8 for LTE) and continued with the advent of their 4G versions (WiMAX 2.0 based on IEEE 802.16 m and LTE-Advanced standardized by Release 10). It looks that the competition ended with the advantage of LTE. Plans are set for WiMAX to migrate/integrate with LTE in a multiple heterogeneous access technology mode. This article addresses the technical similarities and differences that advantage one technology over the other technology in order to determine which of these factors might have contributed to LTE winning. Nontechnical factors of commercial and historical nature which might also advantage one technology over the other one are also explored. Finally, current activities in the standardization of both WiMAX and LTE are presented with a perspective on the prospects of both technologies.

Share and Cite:

I. Aldmour, "LTE and WiMAX: Comparison and Future Perspective," Communications and Network, Vol. 5 No. 4, 2013, pp. 360-368. doi: 10.4236/cn.2013.54045.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] IEEE, “IEEE Standard for Local and Metropolitan Area Networks Part 16: Air Interface for Fixed Broadband Wireless Access Systems,” IEEE Standard 802.16-2004, 2004.
[2] IEEE, “Amendment for Physical and Medium Access Control Layers for Combined Fixed and Mobile Operation in Licensed Bands,” IEEE Standard 802.16e-2005, 2006.
[3] ITU Press Release, “IMT-Advanced Standards Announced for Next-Generation Mobile Technology,” 2012.
[4] ITU, “Framework and Overall Objectives of the Future Development of IMT-2000 and Systems beyond IMT2000,” ITU-R M.1645, 2003.
[5] 3GPP, “Requirements for Evolved UTRA (E-UTRA) and Evolved UTRAN (E-UTRAN) Release 7,” 3GPP TS 25.913, 2007.
[6] ITU Press Release, “ITU Radiocommunication Assembly Approves New Developments for Its 3G Standards,” 2007.
[7] C. Gessner, A., Roessler and M. Kottkamp, “UMTS Long Term Evolution (LTE) Technology Introduction,” Rohde and Schwarz, Application Note, IMA111_3E, 2012.
[8] A. Zreikat, I. Aldmour and K. Al-Begain, “Performance Model of a WIMAX 2.0 All-IP 4G System,” Wireless Personal Communications, Vol. 72, No. 1, 2013, pp. 191210.
[9] L. Korowajczuk, “LTE, WiMAX and WLAN Network Design, Optimization and Performance Analysis,” Wiley, 2011.
[10] C. Y. Wong, R. S. Cheng, K. B. Lataief and R. D. Murch, “Multiuser OFDM with Adaptive Subcarrier, Bit, and Power Allocation,” IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications, Vol. 17, No. 10, 1999, pp. 1747-1758.
[11] S. Ahmadi, “An Overview of Next-Generation Mobile WiMAX Technology,” IEEE Communications Magazine, Vol. 47, No. 6, 2009, pp. 84-98.
[12] T.-T. Tran, Y. Shin and O.-S. Shin, “Overview of Enabling Technologies for 3GPP LTE-Advanced,” EURASIP Journal on Wireless Communications and Networking, Vol. 2012, No. 1, 2012, pp. 1-12.
[13] R. Irmer, H. Droste, P. Marsch, M. Grieger, G. Fettweis, S. Brueck, H.-P. Mayer, L. Thiele and V. Jungnickel, “Coordinated Multipoint: Concepts, Performance, and Field Trial Results,” IEEE Communications Magazine, Vol. 49, No. 2, 2011, pp. 102-111.
[14] K. Etemad, “Overview of Mobile WiMAX Technology and Evolution,” IEEE Communications Magazine, Vol. 46, No. 10, 2008, pp. 31-40.
[15] IXIA, “SC-FDMA: Single Carrier FDMA in LTE,” IXIA White Paper, November 2009.
[16] L. Yi, K. Miao and A. Liu, “A Comparative Study of WiMAX and LTE as the Next Generation Mobile Enterprise Network,” Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Advanced Communication Technology (ICACT), Gangwon-do, South Korea, 13-16 February 2011, pp. 654-658.
[17] “WiMAX: The Quintessential Answer to Broadband in India,” 2009.
[18] M. Peng and W. Wang, “Technologies and Standards for TD-SCDMA Evolutions to IMT-Advanced,” IEEE Communications Magazine, Vol. 47, No. 12, 2009, pp. 50-58.
[19] WiMAX Forum, “Requirements for WiMAX Coexistence with LTE Networks,” WMF-T31-132-v02, December 2012.
[20] WiMAX Forum, “WiMAX Forum System Profile Requirements for Smart Grid Applications—Requirements for WiGRID,” WMF T31-002-R010-v01, February 2013.
[21] Z. Brabec, J. Holecek and T. Hruza, “Overview of Applicability of ICT Technologies for Smart Grids,” Proceedings of 15th International Symposium on MECHATRONIKA, Prague, 5-7 December 2012, pp. 1-5.
[22] Q. Wang, J. Wang, Y. Lin, J. Tang and Z. Zhu, “Interference Management for Smart Grid Communication under Cognitive Wireless Network,” Proceedings of IEEE Third International Conference on Smart Grid Communications (SmartGridComm), Tainan, 5-8 November 2012, pp. 246251.
[23] B. Ayvazian and R. Schwartz, “WiMAX Technology Roadmap: The Path to Harmonization of 4G Technology Standards,” 2012.
[24] T. Parker, “WiMAX Forum President describes Roadmap Wherein WiMAX, LTE Are Complementary,” 2012.
[25] S. Parkvall, E. Dahlman, A. Furuskar, Y. Jading, M. Olsson, S. Wanstedt and K. Zangi, “LTE-Advanced-Evolving LTE towards IMT-Advanced,” Proceedings of IEEE 68th Vehicular Technology Conference (VTC 2008-Fall), Calgary, 21-24 September 2008, pp. 1-5.
[26] K. Mallinson, “2020 Vision for LTE,” 2012.
[27] Y. Yang, H. Hu, J. Xu and G. Mao, “Relay Technologies for WiMAX and LTE-Advanced Mobile Systems,” IEEE Communications Magazine, Vol. 47, No. 10, 2009, pp. 100-105.

Copyright © 2024 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.