Logo courtesy Intel

WiMAX (World Interoperability for Microwave Access), based on the IEEE 802.16 standard, is expected to enable true broadband speeds over wireless networks at a cost point to enable mass market adoption. WiMAX is the only wireless standard today that has the ability to deliver true broadband speeds and help make the vision of pervasive connectivity a reality.

Popular name of the 802.16 wireless metropolitan-area network standard that's currently being developed. WiMax, which will have a range of up to 31 miles, is primarily aimed at making broadband network access widely available without the expense of stringing wires (as in cable-access broadband) or the distance limitations of Digital Subscriber Line.

There are two main applications of WiMAX today:
  • Fixed WiMAX applications are point-to-multipoint enabling broadband access to homes and businesses.
  • Mobile WiMAX offers the full mobility of cellular networks at true broadband speeds.
Both fixed and mobile applications of WiMAX are engineered to help deliver ubiquitous, high-throughput broadband wireless services at a low cost.

Potential applications for WiMax include:
  • Last mile/last km connectivity applications: Network operators, (traditional phone companies and cable providers) see WiMax as a great alternative for last mile connectivity.
    • Certainly cheaper than deploying fiber, WiMax can serve customers in rural areas who do not have access to broadband cable or DSL.
  • Backhaul applications: WiMax can also effectively connect Wi-Fi hotspots and cellular towers to the Internet.
  • Network overlay: 3G service providers can offer an overlaid WiMax service targeted towards laptop subscribers.
    • Some experts believe WiMax can bridge the gap between applications designed for broadband landline and mobile wireless networks.
  • Adelene Fellah, CEO and founder of WiMAX consultancy Maravedis said: "We predict that there will be an accumulated 87 million broadband wireless access subscribers (excluding cellular) by the end of 2012, 67 million of which will be WiMAX subscribers. "WiMAX will represent 90 per cent of subscribers who are added in 2012, of whom 75 per cent will be using 802.16-2005 technology. WiMAX chipsets will start to be embedded into laptops in 2008, into handheld devices in the beginning of 2009, and into consumer electronics in beginning of 2010-2011,".

WiMax News:

WiMAX ForumĀ® Second Public Mobile PlugFest Showcases Interoperability Among Mobile WiMAX Products

The WiMAX Forum has brought 35 companies from the Mobile WiMAXTM equipment and test equipment communities together for the second public mobile WiMAX Forum PlugFest, an interoperability showcase hosted by AT4 wireless Labs in Malaga, Spain. The PlugFest kicked off on Sunday, February 11, 2007 and concludes on Saturday, February 17 ...Click for more

Redpine Signals Introduces Ultra Low Power 802.16e-2005 Mobile WiMAX Wave-2 Solution for Mobile Devices

Convergence-Ready Mobile WiMAX Solution Enables Differentiated Cost

San Jose, CA, Feb 15, 2007 -- Redpine Signals Inc., a leading supplier of wireless communications solutions, today announced the introduction of its Lite-MAX product -- a semiconductor platform for mobile devices offering wireless connectivity conforming to the IEEE 802.16e-2005 standard. The Lite-MAX low-power mobile platform offers all features of the WiMAX Wave-2 profiles. Lite-MAX supports both single antenna and two antenna MIMO configurations and leverages advanced patent-pending performance enhancing and power saving techniques to deliver significantly improved battery life ...Click for more

Differences between Wi-Fi and WiMAX:

  • Only covers about 100 yards, about one floor of a building or shop.
  • Throughput is only 11Mps
  • There is limited security
  • Quality of Service is limited
  • Covers about 6 miles, about a size of a small city
  • Throughput is 72Mps
  • Security is Multi-level encryption
  • Quality of Service has active bandwidth distribution, which is good for streaming voice and video.

Companies with Supporting Equipment for WiMAX:
  • Airspan Networks
  • Alvarion
  • Aperto Networks
  • Axxcelera Broadband Wireless
  • Proxim Wireless
  • Redline Communications
  • SELEX Communications
  • Siemens mobile
  • Telsima Corporation
  • Wavesat Inc.

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Sequans' forecast of the market which is expected to reach 500 M$ by 2009 including baseband & RF chips.

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Related Links
WiMAX Trends
WiMAX World
Business Week
Wimax Forum