Wireless systems always make some people worried when speaking of security. After all, every wireless system broadcasts, by definition, everything you’re doing on the network to the world or at least the part of the world within range. Security is an important consideration in any communication system design but is particularly so in wireless communication systems. The fact that connection can be established in a loosen fashion makes it easier to intrude in an ordinary and undetectable manner than is the case for wired access. Further, the shared wireless medium is often perceived by the general public to be somewhat less secure than its wired counterpart. Therefore, a robust level of security must be built into the design of wireless systems.
From the point of view of an end user, the primary WiMAX security concerns are privacy and data integrity. Users need assurance that no one can eavesdrop on their sessions and that the data sent across the communication link is not tampered. This is usually achieved through the use of WiMAX network encryption. I am going to discuss the encryption in the next chapter in detail.
From the service provider’s point of view, an important WiMAX security consideration is preventing unauthorized use of the network services. This is usually done using strong authentication and access control methods. Authentication and access control can be implemented at various levels of the network such as the physical layer, and the privacy sub layer. The service provider’s need to prevent fraud should be balanced against the inconvenience that it may impose on the user.