IEEE 802.16 is a standard that defines Wireless Interoperability for Microwave Access (WiMAX), a wireless technology that delivers network services to the last mile of broadband access.
The IEEE 802.11 standard that lays down the specifications of the wireless local area networks (WLAN) or Wi-Fi, that connects wireless devices within a limited area.
The following chart gives a comparison between 802.16 and 802.11 −
|Feature||IEEE 802.16||IEEE 802.11|
|Technology||Defines WIMAX.||Defines WLANs or WiFi.|
|Application Area||Last-mile of broadband wireless access.||Limited area forming wireless LANs.|
|Versions of the Standard||802.16a, 802.16d, 802.16e, 802.16m etc.||802.11a, 11b, 11g, 11n, 11ac, 11ad etc.|
|Domain of Usage||It is used for a wide area mostly outdoors.||It is used for a limited area mostly indoors.|
|Area of Coverage||WiMAX generally covers the area between 7 Km to 50 Km so that it can provide a large number of customers connected to the broadband services.||WiFi has a smaller coverage area of 30 to 100 meters, that enables devices within this range to connect to the network services.|
|Date Rate||The data rate is typically 5 bps/Hz with a maximum of 100 Mbps in a 20 MHz channel.||The data rate is 2.7 bps/Hz with a maximum of 54 Mbps in 20 MHz channel.|
|Frequency Band||It operates in the frequency of 2 GHz to 11 GHz.||It operates in the frequency of 2.4 GHz.|
|Encryption||It uses mandatory DES (Data Encryption Standard) with optional AES (Advanced Encryption Standard)||It uses RC4 (Rivest Cipher 4). 802.11i uses AES.|
|QoS (Quality of Service)||A number of QoS options are available like UGS, rtPS, nrtPS, BE, etc. WiMAX can bring the Internet the connection needed to service local WiFi networks.||It does not provide any QoS. However, 802.11e lays down QoS.|
|Ubiquitous Services||Provides ubiquitous networking services.||Cannot provide ubiquitous services.|
|Scalability||Users can scale up from one to hundreds of Consumer Premises Equipment (CPEs), where one CPE has unlimited subscribers.||Users can scale up from one to tens per CPE.|