What is WiMAX technology? Key Technologies of WiMAX Broadband Technology

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What is WiMAX technology? Key Technologies of WiMAX Broadband Technology

Posted Date: 2024-01-17

WiMAX technology is a wireless broadband communication technology based on the IEE 802.16 standard that can provide high-speed data over a wide area.

The letters WiMAX stand for Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access (AXess), a technology used in point-to-multipoint wireless networks.

WiMAX technology can meet the needs of a variety of users, from those in developed countries who want to install new high-speed data networks very cheaply without the cost and time required to install wired networks, to those in rural areas who need fast access because wired Solutions that may not be feasible due to distance and cost - effectively deliver WiMAX broadband. Additionally, it is used in mobile applications to provide high-speed data to users on the move.

What is WiMAX technology?

WiMAX technology standard is a wireless metropolitan area network (WMAN) standard developed by IEEE 802 Working Group 16, which is specifically used for point-to-multipoint broadband wireless access. 802.16a was originally developed and launched, but now it has been further refined. 802.16d or 802.16-2004 was released as an improved version of the 802.16a standard for fixed applications. Another version of the standard, 802.16e or 802.16-2005, was also released, targeting the roaming and mobile markets.

WiMAX broadband technology uses a few key technologies to deliver high-speed data rates:

OFDM (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing): OFDM has been integrated into WiMAX technology, enabling it to provide high-speed data without the selective fading and other problems of other forms of signal formats.

A note about OFDM:

Orthogonal frequency division multiplexing OFDM is a signaling format that uses a large number of closely spaced carriers, each of which is modulated with a low-rate data stream. Typically closely spaced signals are expected to interfere with each other, but by making the signals orthogonal to each other, there is no mutual interference. The data to be transmitted is shared among all carriers, which provides resilience against selective fading from multipath effects.

MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output): WiMAX technology takes advantage of MIMO's multipath propagation. By leveraging existing multiple signal paths, the use of MIMO can either operate at lower signal strength levels or allow for higher data rates.

Notes on MIMO:

MIMO is a form of antenna technology that uses multiple antennas to separate signals traveling through different paths due to reflections, etc., and exploit their capabilities to increase data throughput and/or signal-to-noise ratio, thereby improving system performance .

WiMAX History

The history of WiMAX began in the 1990s when it was realized that data traffic on telecommunications networks would increase significantly. Since wired telecommunications networks are very expensive, especially in remote areas, and are not installed in many countries, methods of delivering wireless broadband have been investigated.

The history of WiMAX begins with the investigation of so-called "last mile connectivity" - methods of delivering high-speed data to large numbers of users who may not have existing wired connections.

The possibility of low-cost last-mile connectivity and the possibility of systems that can handle the backhaul over wireless links prove to be compelling arguments for the development of new wireless data link systems.

The next important stage in the history of WiMAX is the establishment of standards by the IEEE.

The 802.16 standards working group was established by IEEE in 1999 under the IEEE 802 LAN/MAN Standards Committee. The first 802.16 standard was approved in December 2001, followed by two revisions to the basic 802.16 standard. These amendments dealt with radio spectrum and interoperability issues and were named 802.16a and 802.16c.

In September 2003, a major revision project began. The purpose is to align the standard with the European/ETSI HIPERMAN standard. It also intends to incorporate conformance testing specifications into the overall standard. The project was completed in 2004 and the standard was released as 802.16d, although given the release date it is often referred to as 802.16-2004. With the release of the 802.16-2004 standard, the previous 802.16 documents, including amendments a, b, and c, were withdrawn.

WiMAX version

New applications for WiMAX have been developed since its original conception, so there are two "flavors" of WiMAX technology available:

The two WiMAX broadband technologies are used for different applications, and although they are based on the same standards, the implementation of each technology is optimized to suit its specific application.

802.16d - DSL replacement

The 802.16d version, often referred to as 802.16-2004, is closer to the original version of WiMAX defined under 802.16a. It is targeted at fixed applications and provides the wireless equivalent of DSL broadband data - often referred to as WiMAX broadband. In fact, the WiMAX Forum describes the technology as “a standards-based technology capable of delivering last-mile wireless broadband access as an alternative to cable and DSL.

802.16d is capable of delivering data rates up to 75 Mbps, making it ideal for fixed DSL replacement applications such as WiMAX broadband. It can also be used for backhaul, where the final data can be further distributed to individual users. The pixel radius is typically up to 75 km.

802.16e - Nomadic/Mobile

While 802.16/WiMAX was originally envisioned as a fixed-only technology, people on the move needed high-speed data at a lower cost than cellular service could provide and saw an opportunity for a mobile version, and 802.16e was developed . This standard is also widely known as 802.16-2005. It currently enables users to connect to WiMAX cells from a variety of locations, and there will be enhancements to provide cell handover in the future.

802.16e is capable of providing data rates up to 15 Mbps, with cell radius distances typically ranging from 2 to 4 kilometers.


Competition with WiMAX 802.16 depends on the type or version used. Although it was initially thought that Wi-Fi would have serious competition, WiMAX also posed a threat in other areas.

DSL cable

WiMAX can provide users with high-speed data links, so it can pose a threat to DSL cable operators.

Cell phone operator

As LTE is developed and initially deployed, cell phone operators view the mobile version of WiMAX as a significant threat. It was even considered for adoption as the IMT 4G standard, but LTE was adopted as the standard, using WiMAX for fixed WiMAX broadband, last mile links and various other point-to-point applications.

WiMAX technology has been deployed in many areas. While initially seen as a candidate for 4G, its use is declining, although it is used as WiMAX broadband and also for last-mile links.

Review Editor: Huang Fei

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