WiMAX Internet Technology
WiMAX wireless internet technology makes it possible to surf the Internet at broadband speeds while you’re on-the-go. It allows users to stream shows, video chat and download large files from a car, at a park or anywhere else in the WiMAX coverage area. So what makes it different than Wi Fi? WiMAX (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access) is a wireless technology that delivers broadband mobile Internet to entire cities. Wi-Fi networks, like the ones found in coffee shops and bookstores, have a range of a couple hundred feet. WiMAX networks span miles and cover entire cities.
WiMAX also lets you connect to the Internet using a variety of wireless devices, including laptops, smartphones, gaming devices, netbooks and much more. With WiMAX, you can connect to the Internet on your laptop at home and get a streaming broadband connection as your travel across town.
Who uses 4G WiMAX?
The two largest WiMAX providers in the U.S. are Sprint and CLEAR. CLEAR actually launched the WiMAX network and all of the company’s devices are powered by WiMAX technology. These 4G technologies offer speeds 4x faster than 3G service. Sprint Internet also offers a wide range of 4G wireless devices using WiMAX technology, including smartphones and USB modems.
WiMAX vs. LTE
WiMAX isn’t the only mobile Internet service available. LTE (Long Term Evolution) is also a 4G mobile broadband technology. LTE is expected to roll out across the nation over the next few years and is expected to be available through Verizon or AT&T. LTE uses newer technology and delivers faster speeds than WiMAX, but will likely cost more to consumers. There are even rumors that the two technologies may join forces and all run under the LTE name.
Service Providers: CLEAR, Sprint 4G, Time Warner Cable and Comcast
Availability: Available in dozens of cities and almost every state, with coverage expanding every day
Service Providers: Verizon, AT&T and Samsung
Availability: Verizon is expected to rollout LTE smartphones in February 2011. The service will be available in select markets but is expected to grow nationwide in a short period of time.