Think about how you access the Internet today. Basically: Broadband or Wireless. The main problems with broadband access are that it is pretty expensive and it doesn’t reach all areas of society and the main problem with Wifi and cellular internet access is that hot spots are very small, so coverage is sparse. What if there was a technology that solved all of these problems? This new technology would provide: high speeds, wireless access, broad coverage, secure gateway and less expensive at the same time.
This technology is actually coming into being right now, and it is called WiMAX. WiMAX is a telecommunications protocol that provides fixed and fully mobile internet access. WiMAX is short for Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access, and it also goes by the IEEE name 802.16. WiMAX is an extended concept of Wifi with all the added features to it making it more usable, efficient, secure and economic. Mobile WiMAX is a replacement candidate for cellular phone technologies such as GSM and CDMA, or can be used as an overlay to increase capacity. Fixed WiMAX is also considered as a wireless backhaul technology for 2G, 3G and 4G. WiMAX is also called as triple play because it provides data, telecommunications (VoIP) and IPTV services.
How WiMAX works?
The backhaul of the WiMAX (802.16) is based on the typical connection to the public wireless networks by using optical fibre, microwave link, cable or any other high speed connectivity. In few cases such as mesh networks, Point-to-Multi-Point (PMP) connectivity is also used as a backhaul. Ideally, WiMAX (802.16) should use Point-to-Point antennas as a backhaul to join subscriber sites to each other and to base stations across long distance.
A WiMAX base station serves subscriber stations using Non-Line-of-Sight (NLOS) or LOS Point-to-Multi-Point connectivity; and this connection is referred to as the last mile communication. Ideally, WiMAX (802.16) should use NLOS Point-to-Multi-Point antennas to connect residential or business subscribers to the WiMAX Base Station (BS). A Subscriber Station (WiMAX CPE) typically serves a building using wired or wireless LAN.
- WiMAX does not depend on cables to connect each endpoint, deploying WiMAX to an entire high-rise, community or campus can be done in a matter of a couple days, saving significant amounts of manpower.
- A WiMAX network can be connected with an IP based core network, which is typically chosen by operators that serve as Internet Service Providers (ISP); Nevertheless the WiMAX BS provide seamless integration capabilities with other types of architectures as with packet switched Mobile Networks.
- Single station can serve hundreds of users without compromising on individual system speeds.
- Much faster deployment of new users compared to wired networks.
- Speed of 376 Mbits/s with the range of 113 kilometres.
- Can reach hostile places.
- Can serve as the only working connectivity at times of disaster (Ex: Hurricane Katrina).
- Providing a source of Internet connectivity as part of a business continuity plan.
- Smart grids and metering
WiMAX was not adopted in the most recent iPhone 5 for the only reason that it lacks popularity and presence across the globe and was left down to a more popular 4G LTE based connectivity.