WiMAX, meaning Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access, is a telecommunications technology that provides wireless transmission of data using a variety of transmission modes, from point-to-multipoint links to portable and fully mobile internet access. The technology provides up to 10 Mbps broadband speed without the need for cables. The technology is based on the IEEE 802.16 standard (also called Broadband Wireless Access).
The bandwidth and range of WiMAX make it suitable for the following potential applications:
* Connecting Wi-Fi hotspots to the Internet.
* Providing a wireless alternative to cable and DSL for “last mile” broadband access.
* Providing data, telecommunications and IPTV services (triple play).
* Providing a source of Internet connectivity as part of a business continuity plan. That is, if a business has both a fixed and a wireless Internet connection, especially from unrelated providers, they are unlikely to be affected by the same service outage.
* Providing portable connectivity.
“Cisco Systems will stop developing and making WiMax base stations to concentrate on the IP (Internet Protocol) networks that sit behind them.
Cisco acquired Navini Networks, which made WiMax RAN (radio access network) equipment, in 2007. The dominant IP networking company said at the time that it saw a powerful opportunity to bring broadband Internet access to developing countries through WiMax.
However, despite hitting the market first, WiMax has taken a back seat to LTE (Long-Term Evolution) as a 4G (fourth-generation) mobile technology. LTE is backed by the industry body behind GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) and is on the road maps of most major carriers that have chosen a 4G system. In the U.S., Verizon Wireless plans to launch LTE commercially this year and AT&T will follow next year. ”