WiMAX is poised to be a huge breakthrough in wireless Internet technology. WiMAX stands for “Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access.” The nation’s first WiMAX network was built by a company called CLEAR.
Some potential benefits of WiMAX are that it:
- Could help us move away from sparse wi-fi hotspots and move toward larger wireless networks.
- Could prevent us from having to get wired connections (e.g. cable and DSL), which would save us money and offer more options for rural customers.
- Will likely come with broadband speeds, if not better.
Wireless Internet – how does WiMAX work?
A WiMAX signal essentially works the same as a wi-fi signal. There’s a tower that’s connected to the Internet. However, this tower has a much greater reach than a traditional wi-fi tower. Therefore, more people can access it. Some experts say that a WiMAX tower can cover up to 3,000 square miles. This would help reduce spotty coverage areas and eliminate no-coverage areas.
The other piece to the puzzle – how do people connect? It’s simple, really. Desktops, laptops, smartphones and tablets all come with wireless receivers so they can connect instantly to a wi-fi signal. The only thing that would have to happen is for manufacturers to start adding WiMAX receivers to their devices. While this seems like a huge step, remember that WiMAX has a lot of potential. Therefore, it’s not at all unrealistic to think this could happen quickly.
How fast is wireless Internet with WiMAX?
The bigger question is about distance, not speed. WiMAX could technically offer faster speeds on paper, but once you start sharing bandwidth with other users, your speeds always decrease. As of now, it looks like WiMAX is hovering around the cable Internet arena. Therefore, you’ll still get broadband speed.
So why is distance the key thing? Distance is important because WiMAX is largely appealing due to its range. Since the towers have a further reach, they can reach many more people.
I’m still confused on the difference between wi-fi and WiMAX
Have you ever been without a wi-fi signal when you needed one? Or have you ever had to go somewhere specific just to get a connection? WiMAX could eliminate those annoyances. WiMAX greatly expands the range of a wireless signal.
The other big difference is how it can save you money. Let’s say you’re a rural customer and don’t have access to DSL or cable Internet. Your only options are likely satellite Internet or dial-up, and obviously nobody wants dial-up these days. WiMAX would eliminate the need for DSL or cable because it would essentially give you a wireless connection even if you’re out in the middle of nowhere.
Learn more about wireless Internet WiMAX on this site, and see how people in cities like Fairfax wireless Internet are already taking advantage of it.