WiMax has been in the news a lot recently and I wanted to address the buzz since it appears WiMax is on it's way.
What is WiMax? According to Intel's website:
"WiMAX is a standards-based wireless technology that provides high-throughput broadband connections over long distances."
This new wireless technology adheres to the IEEE 802.16 standards and will be able support many different applications and networks much like a "final mile" broadband connection does now. Some of these applications include, On-Demand video, "final mile" broadband, and other cellular connections. So WiMax can act like your home Wi-Fi network but on a much larger scale. While a home Wi-Fi network usually has a range of a few
hundred feet with speeds of up to 54 megabits per second, a single
WiMax antenna is expected to range of up to 40 miles with speeds
of 70 megabits per second or more. This could be an excellent solution for rural areas that have not been offered broadband or DSL services due to there location. For example, some of my relatives live in a home surrounded by trees and in a rural area outside of a small city. They cannot get Yahoo DSL or any type of broadband so they have had to get satellite Internet for the last several years which is extremely expensive in comparison but offers a faster solution then dial-up. WiMax could be just what they need to offer them the "final mile" connection to support their own home Wi-Fi network.
So when can we expect to see WiMax? Well it seems that it could be very soon. Sprint Nextel as is currently said to be testing a WiMax network as reporter here. While Verizon is reported herehere.
What is EVDO? EVDO to also experimenting with WiMax service. Additionally, an Argentine school was reported to be testing WiMax technology is a wireless radio broadband data protocol being adopted by
many CDMA mobile phone providers in Japan, Korea, the United States and
Canada. Verizon also recently struck a deal with Dell Computers to start placing a Verizon Wireless EVDOpost. While this is not WiMax is it wireless broadband offering data services at 2M bit/sec EV-DO and the 14.4M bit/sec High-Speed Downlink Packet
Access with pricing starting around $80 per month.
cards in next years Dell laptops as stated in this
So the wireless revolution continues and it is only a matter of time before we see cellular broadband services like EV-DO and WiMax competing for users as adoption rates increase much like cable services and DSL do today. This blog post further describes what we can expect from WiMax and EV-DO. While this post on WiDATblog discusses the most recent WiMax happenings. Finally, check out the WiMax Forum here.