WiMAX, short for Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access, is a wireless communication standard that provides high-speed broadband connectivity over long distances. It is based on the IEEE 802.16 family of standards and is designed to deliver wireless metropolitan area network (MAN) and wide-area network (WAN) connectivity.
Here are key features and aspects of the standard:
1. Broadband Wireless Access:
- WiMAX is designed to provide broadband wireless access, delivering high-speed internet connectivity to both fixed and mobile users.
2. Frequency Bands:
- It operates in various frequency bands, including the 2.3 GHz, 2.5 GHz, 3.5 GHz, and 5.8 GHz bands. The specific frequency bands used can vary depending on regulatory considerations in different regions.
3. Point-to-Multipoint Communication:
- It supports point-to-multipoint communication, allowing a base station (access point) to communicate with multiple subscriber stations simultaneously.
4. Last Mile Connectivity:
- One of the applications of WiMAX is providing last-mile connectivity, especially in areas where traditional wired broadband infrastructure is not readily available.
5. Mobility Support:
- While WiMAX was initially designed as a fixed wireless access technology, the standard was later extended to support mobile applications, allowing users to connect to the network while on the move.
6. IEEE 802.16 Standards:
- The IEEE 802.16 family includes multiple standards. The original standard was IEEE 802.16-2004, followed by amendments such as IEEE 802.16e-2005 for mobile WiMAX and IEEE 802.16m for advanced mobile WiMAX.
7. WiMAX Forum:
- The WiMAX Forum is an industry association that promotes the adoption of WiMAX technology and ensures interoperability between different vendors’ equipment.
8. Coverage and Range:
- WiMAX can provide coverage over long distances, making it suitable for serving both urban and rural areas. The range can extend to several kilometers from a base station.
9. Competition and Evolution:
- While it was initially considered a competitor to other broadband technologies like DSL and cable, its adoption faced challenges. Long-Term Evolution (LTE), a competing 4G technology, gained broader acceptance, and many mobile operators shifted their focus to LTE and later 5G technologies.
Today, while it is still in use in some regions and specific applications, it is not as widely deployed as LTE and 5G for mobile broadband. The industry has moved toward the adoption of these newer technologies for enhanced performance and capabilities.