In the expanding world of technology, people think of new ways to improve tried and true products. The Internet takes no exception to this, and has saw the creation of dial-up, then broadband, followed by wireless Internet (Wi-Fi), and now the dawning of WiMAX. The last is a new form of wireless Internet that will revolutionize the way people connect online.
WiMAX is a similar technology to Wi-Fi. It is a wireless networking technology that spreads over great distances, which allows users to take advantage of the networking services. It is the wireless equivalent to broadband that could result in citywide wireless networking capabilities. It has a range of about 30 miles, making it particularly useful in metropolitan areas. Additionally, it may become the primary source of wireless Internet connectivity in developing countries that don’t have Wi-Fi and cellular technologies.
Its performance increases not only in range, but in speed too. The typical speeds for this connection type reaches up at about 70 megabits per second (Mbps), on average. This could be comparable to 3G speeds, where a crowded area with hundreds of home users or multiple commercial users, whereas less densely populated or utilized areas may see significant improvements in data transfer rates over 3G. Overall, performance should guarantee similar speeds to that of a normal cable-modem connection.
While the two different connection types are very similar, they also greatly differ. For one, Wi-Fi reaches a maximum speed of 54 Mbps, whereas as previously mentioned, WiMAX reaches 70 Mbps. Secondly, Wi-Fi can only achieve a range of maybe a few hundred feet. This means that the need for hotspots placed around cities by businesses such as coffee shops and fast food restaurants would be reduced as connections by WiMAX would extend over entire cities, or at least large portions of them. In addition, Wi-Fi usually needs a direct line-of-sight between the access point and the device attempting to connect, whereas the latter option does not and can better penetrate large objects such as buildings.