What is WiMAX?

WiMAX, is a digital communications system that provides fixed and fully mobile internet access. It is also known as Broadband Wireless Access and currently provides up to 40 Mbps. WiMAX can provide broadband wireless access up to 50 km for fixed stations, and 5 - 15 km for mobile stations. In contrast, the WiFi/802.11 wireless local area network standard is limited in most cases to only 100 - 300 feet (30 - 100m).

WiMAX operates on both licensed and non-licensed frequencies. WiMAX is a second-generation protocol that allows for more efficient bandwidth use, interference avoidance, and is intended to allow higher data rates over longer distances.

Applications of WiMAX

  • Provides portable mobile broadband connectivity across cities and countries through a variety of devices.
  • Provides a wireless alternative to cable and DSL for last mile broadband access.
  • Provides data, telecommunications (VoIP) and IPTV services.
  • It is highly recommended to be used for post disaster communications.

WiMAX access was used to assist with communications in Aceh, Indonesia, after the tsunami in December 2004.

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