WiMax in Computer Network

What is WiMAX?

WiMAX stands for "Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access," a telecommunications standard that describes fixed and fully mobile Internet access services. The protocol follows some aspects of the IEEE 802.16 Standard.

WiMAX products and services are most likely to be found in "last mile" applications. WiMAX enables ISPs and carriers to deliver Internet access to homes and businesses without the need for physical cabling (copper, cable, etc.) to reach the customer's location.

Difference between WiMAX and WiFi

WiMAX is sometimes compared to WiFi because both technologies rely on wireless Internet connectivity and are complementary.

Following are some of the major differences between WiMAX and WiFi −

  • WiMAX's range is measured in kilometers, but WiFi's range is measured in meters and is only available locally. The reliability and range of WiMAX make it ideal for providing Internet access to significant urban areas.

  • WiFi uses an unlicensed spectrum, whereas WiMAX uses a licensed or unlicensed band.

  • WiFi is increasingly being used by end-user devices such as laptops, desktops, and cellphones. As a result, WiMAX service providers typically give a WiMAX subscriber unit to the consumer. This device connects to the provider's network and provides customers with WiFi access and convenience inside the WiFi range.

Architecture of WiMAX

  • The physical layer – The physical layer is in charge of signal encoding and decoding and bit transmission and receiving. It turns MAC layer frames into transmittable signals. QPSK, QAM-16, and QAM-64 are some of the modulation methods utilized on this layer.

  • MAC Layer – This layer serves as a link between the WiMax protocol stack's convergence and physical layers. It is based on CSMA/CA and allows point-to-multipoint communication (Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Avoidance).

  • Convergence Layer – This layer provides information from the external network. It takes higher-layer protocol data units (PDUs) and converts them into lower-layer PDUs. It has different functions depending on whatever service is used.

Advantages of WiMAX

WiMAX offers the following benefits −

  • It allows for very high-speed voice and data transmission over extended distances.

  • Hundreds of users can be served by a single WiMAX BS.

  • It is seen as a less expensive alternative to broadband wired technologies such as ADSL, cable modem, etc.

  • Higher speeds are possible.

  • With mobile WiMAX, you can get a more comprehensive coverage range and cellular-like performance.

Disadvantages of WiMAX

WiMAX has the following drawbacks −

  • Subscribers located far away from the WiMAX BS require a LOS (Line of Sight) connection.

  • Bad weather, such as rain, will disrupt the WiMAX signal and frequently result in a loss of connection.

  • Wimax is a power-hungry technology that necessitates a lot of electrical assistance.

  • It is not backward compatible with any wireless cellular technologies, so the initial cost of starting a WiMax is very high.

  • WiMax BS and towers must be set up from scratch. Since skilled workforce is needed, it results in significant starting expenses and higher operational expenditures.