WiMAX is the next generation of wireless networks. Described by some as "Wi-Fi on steroids" it gives wider coverage than Wi-Fi and faster speeds than 3G.
WiMAX is a wireless digital communications system, also known as IEEE 802.16, that is intended for wireless "metropolitan area networks". There are two variants of the standard - 802.16d (also know as Fixed WiMAX) and 802.16e (also know as Mobile WiMAX). WiMAX can provide broadband wireless access (BWA) up to 30 miles (50 km) for fixed stations, and 3 - 10 miles (5 - 15 km) for mobile stations. In contrast, the WiFi/802.11 wireless local area network standard is limited to a range of about 300 to 500 feet. Although Mobile WiMAX is currently being trialled in the UK, it is not known when it will be generally available. Therefore, the services that we currently offer are Fixed WiMAX services, which operate on a point-to-point basis.
WiMAX is broadcast from base stations, similar to mobile phone masts, and is broadcast on a radio frequency to a specified coverage area. You do not have to be in line of sight to receive WiMAX as the signal is able to partially penetrate into buildings and in urban environments, the signal also bounces off walls of buildings, so most users in the area will be able to pick up the signal. The signal is received by internal or external devices. External receivers are fixed onto the outside of the building whereas the internal receivers are plug and play devices that can be moved anywhere in the building where a signal can be detected. More details of these devices are provided.
WiMAX operates on a licensed spectrum. In the UK, the 3.5GHz spectrum is used and Konnex Networks provided Fixed Wireless services over WiMAX linked to the MASP Core Management Platform