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WiFi falls short in being a wireless technology for the enterprise due to its limitations in QoS support and coverage range. In comparison, WiMAX and LTE are much more capable, thus presenting themselves as strong candidates as the next generation mobile technologies for the enterprise. Known as 4G wireless technologies, WiMAX and LTE resemble each other in some key aspects including operating in licensed spectrum bands, high capacity, wide coverage range, and strong QoS mechanisms. However, having evolved from different origins, these two technologies also differ from each other in certain aspects. In this paper, we first present the compelling usages of WiMAX and LTE as the next generation mobile enterprise networks and then focus on an analysis of the differences between WiMAX and LTE from a perspective of enterprise network requirements. In particular, by integrating WiMAX with the current enterprise network in a recent effort, we developed detailed knowledge about security mechanisms in the enterprise network today, which allows us to carry out comprehensive comparisons between WiMAX and LTE against enterprise requirements. In WiMAX, the authentication process, which uses either EAP_TTLS or EAP_TLS, allows an enterprise to use private certificates and enterprise controlled username and password, directly integrated in the authentication process. In LTE, however, the authentication process, which uses either EAP_AKA or UMTS_AKA, requires new ways to integrate enterprise credentials and authentication server to IT security infrastructure because the AKA authentication method is designed for telecom consumer market and usage. In addition, we will also present overall architectures to illustrate how WiMAX and LTE can fit in an enterprise network environment.
Date of Conference: 13-16 Feb. 2011