What is the difference between WiFi and WiMAX?

WiMax, also known as IEEE 802.16, is a wireless digital communications system that is intended for wireless “metropolitan area networks”. WiMAX is also an acronym meaning "Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access (WiMAX)and is relatively new in terms of a standards initiative. WiMax is designed to extend local WiFi networks across greater distances, such as on a university campus. The WiFi/802.11 wireless local area, which is the network standard, is limited in most cases to only about 100 to 300 feet; however, Wimax can provide broadband wireless access for up to 30 miles for fixed stations and 3 to 10 miles for mobile stations. WiMax allows for more efficient bandwidth use, interference avoidance, and is intended to allow higher data rates over longer distances. The IEEE 802.16 standard defines the technical features of the communications protocol. The WiMAX Forum offers a means of testing manufacturer’s equipment for compatibility, as well as an industry group dedicated to fostering the development and commercialization of the technology. In the next five years, Wimax will have an enormous impact on the cellular markets, particularly that of third-world countries, as well as that of the United States. The cost-effectiveness of WiMax to that of preexisting systems is much higher. One application that can be used by cellular companies is WiMax’s ability to serve as a high bandwidth “backhaul” for internet or cellular phone traffic from remote areas back to an Internet backbone; WiMax may be an answer to reducing the cost of T1/E1 backhaul as well. The more recent Long Term Evolution (LTE) standard is a similar term describing a parallel technology to WiMAX that is being developed by vendors and carriers as a counterpoint to WiMAX. wifi wimax Possibly due to the fact both WiMAX and Wi-Fi are based upon IEEE standards beginning with 802. and both have a connection to wireless connection technology, comparisons between the two are frequent. Despite this, both standards are aimed at different applications. WiMAX is a long range system, covering many kilometers, that uses licensed or unlicensed spectrum to deliver a point-to-point connection to the Internet from an ISP to an end user. Different 802.16 standards provide different types of access, from mobile (analogous to access via a cellphone) to fixed (an alternative to wired access, where the end user’s wireless termination point is fixed in location.) Wi-Fi is a shorter range system, typically hundreds of meters, that uses unlicensed spectrum to provide access to a network, typically covering only the network operator’s own property. Typically Wi-Fi is used by an end user to access their own network, which may or may not be connected to the Internet. If WiMAX provides services analogous to a cellphone, Wi-Fi is more analogous to a cordless phone. What is 4G ? Although the term “4G” has been tossed around a lot in relation to WiMAX, the reality is that the International Telecommunications Union has not yet to define what “4G” actually means. According to most of telecommunication professionals, the main technologies that are associated with this position include WiMAX, Long Term Evolution (LTE) and Ultra Mobile Broadband (UMB). To better understand the nature of the players involved in so-called 4G technologies, Wikipedia provides some helpful definitions for LTE and UMB (for a definition of WiMAX, see above) : Ultra Mobile Broadband : An ultra fast technology that supports more than an order of magnitude increase in broadband data throughput rates to economically deliver IP-based voice, multimedia, broadband, information technology, entertainment, and consumer electronic services within most kinds of devices. A platform that supports several wireless services within a full mobility environment and thus differentiates itself from Wi-Fi, WiMAX, UWB, etc. Ultra high-speeds that are in the order of 100s of megabits per second; next-generation capabilities, beyond 3G. Long Term Evolution : 3GPP LTE (Long Term Evolution) is the name given to a project within the Third Generation Partnership Project to improve the UMTS mobile phone standard to cope with future requirements. Goals include improving efficiency, lowering costs, improving services, making use of new spectrum opportunities, and better integration with other open standards. The LTE project is not a standard, but it will result in the new evolved release 8 of the UMTS standard, including mostly or wholly extensions and modifications of the UMTS system. What is the Wimax Forum ? The WiMAX Forum has more than 500 members comprising the majority of operators, component and equipment companies in the communications ecosystem. is an industry-led, not-for-profit organization formed to certify and promote the compatibility and interoperability of broadband wireless products based upon the harmonized IEEE 802.16/ETSI HiperMAN standard. The founding members of the WiMAX Forum committed themselves early to the process of creating a collaborative standards body. The WiMAX Forum has organized a number of working groups to address critical areas of focus in bringing WiMAX Forum Certified products to the marketplace. Here are some of the working groups : * Application Working Group (AWG) * Certification Working Group (CWG) * Evolutionary Technical Working Group (ETWG) * Global Roaming Working Group (GRWG)

323 West 39th Street,
11th Floor,
New York, NY 10018
212-993-5899


WiMAX.net carries all leading WiMAX systems Motorola Proxim Wireless Alvarion