May 28, 2008

WiMAX Overview

WiMAX, the Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access, is a telecommunications technology aimed at providing wireless data over long distances in a variety of ways, from point-to-point links to full mobile cellular type access. It is based on the IEEE 802.16 standard, which is also called WirelessMAN. The name "WiMAX" was created by the WiMAX Forum, which was formed in June 2001 to promote conformance and interoperability of the standard. The forum describes WiMAX as "a standards-based technology enabling the delivery of last mile wireless broadband access as an alternative to cable and DSL"

The terms "fixed WiMAX", "mobile WiMAX", "802.16d" and "802.16e" are frequently used incorrectly.Correct definitions are:

  • 802.16-2004 is often called 802.16d, since that was the working party that developed the standard. It is also frequently referred to as "fixed WiMAX" since it has no support for mobility.
  • 802.16e-2005 is an amendment to 802.16-2004 and is often referred to in shortened form as 802.16e. It introduced support for mobility, amongst other things and is therefore also frequently called "mobile WiMAX.


The bandwidth and reach of WiMAX make it suitable for the following potential applications:

  • Connecting Wi-Fi hotspots with each other and to other parts of the Internet
  • Providing a wireless alternative to cable and DSL for last mile broadband access.
  • Providing high-speed data and telecommunications services.
  • Providing a diverse source of Internet connectivity as part of a business continuity plan. That is, if a business has a fixed and a wireless Internet connection, especially from unrelated providers, they are unlikely to be affected by the same service outage.
  • Providing nomadic connectivity

Subscriber units

WiMAX subscriber units are available in both indoor and outdoor versions from several manufacturers. Self-install indoor units are convenient, but radio losses mean that the subscriber must be significantly closer to the WiMAX base station than with professionally-installed external units. As such, indoor-installed units require a much higher infrastructure investment as well as operational cost (site lease, backhaul, maintenance) due to the high number of base stations required to cover a given area. Indoor units are comparable in size to a cable modem or DSL modem. Outdoor units are roughly the size of a laptop PC, and their installation is comparable to a residential satellite dish.

With the advent of mobile WiMAX, there is an increasing focus on portable units. This includes handsets (similar to cellular smartphones) and PC peripherals (PC Cards or USB dongles). In addition, there is much emphasis from operators on consumer electronics devices (game terminals, MP3 players and the like); it is notable this is more similar to Wi-Fi than 3G cellular technologies

WiMAX Forum

The WiMAX Forum is the organization dedicated to certifying the interoperability of WiMAX products.Those that pass conformance and interoperability testing achieve the "WiMAX Forum Certified" designation and can display this mark on their products and marketing materials. Some vendors claim that their equipment is "WiMAX-ready", "WiMAX-compliant", or "pre-WiMAX", if they are not officially WiMAX Forum Certified.


Humayun-CWNA said...

It's a good composition on WiMAX, these information are neccesary for people working on WiMAX or planing to work with WiMAX.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Hamidur
Nice article. I am a student of dhaka University, Now Im working on a project titled "WIMAX implementation in Bangladesh". I need Information about wimax in bangladesh. I f you have any information about this please mail me That would be great for me.

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