Thursday, September 20, 2012

WiMAX taking over wireless

I read an article about WiMAX (Worldwide interoperability for Microwave Access), which talks about how WiMAX is a new technology set to take over wireless internet, cable/DSL, and possibly cellular broadband. The article also mentions the drawbacks of WiMAX and the possible competition that it has in the cellular market. To me, this wireless technology seems to be very promising method of expanding the web to the parts of the world that are hard to reach with wires or that have bad infrastructure. Cities such as Baltimore, Washington D.C., and Chicago have already installed WiMAX with companies such as Clear Wire leading the way. I see many more cities implementing it as a way to provide its citizens with free and fast wireless internet. 
I think that WiMAX will take over cable/DSL because it is a lot easier and less expensive to install. It is also just as fast as cable, with no wire installation required in neighborhoods or cities. WiMAX requires only antennas, which give it a range of 10 kilometers, to be places on the highest building in the area. This way, with only one antenna, a large area can be covered with internet access. This is why WiMAX trumps WiFi, which only has a range of 30 meters indoors and 200 outdoors. Another thing that this “4G” wireless has over WiFi is that a user can go from one antenna to another without losing connection, unlike with WiFi hotspots. Although this technology is better than WiFi, companies are planning to use them side-by-side, since so many WiFi networks are already in place. The integration of the systems will just boost the speed of  WiFi and greatly improve its coverage. 
Companies that outsource will start using WiMAX to link their centers in other countries to HQ back in the U.S. Since it is a lot cheaper to install and covers a greater area, it will allow them to save money on starting new centers, especially in countries where there are no lines in place. This would also cut down on the time needed to start up the new centers.
Even though WiMAX is a great step forward in network technology, it has some drawbacks. If the antenna is obstructed, the speed greatly decreases, which should be at 30-40 Mbps. Also, if the network has many users connected to it, the speed will also decrease. It is effected by bad weather, as well. These are, in my opinion, very small problems, which are already being worked on in the new model that is to come in the near future. 
As far as the cellular network is concerned, it does not look like WiMAX will advance into that sector. LTE (Long Term Evolution) is beating WiMAX out in the network for the name “4G.” Sprint originally adopted WiMAX mobile and then later changed to LTE. At the base, both systems are basically the same, except LTE is supposed to work at 100Mbps with an ideal connection. Also, it is a lot easier to make cellphones with LTE hardware than with WiMAX. This new system has great potential to improve and advance the internet and further connect the world.,2817,2403490,00.asp

1 comment:

  1. “What the heck is WiFi?” Given a period of time people are no longer going to know what WiFi is, not they would need to know anyway. Wireless internet action is growing at a furious rate. WiFi had had a lot of success in providing cheap wireless internet service within close proximity to an access point, WiMax is better because it expands the potential of wireless penetration and connection quality.

    I think it was smart to call this new internet WiMax because it is easy to assume that WiMax is simply a more refined and more powerful form of WiFi, and one that will render WiFi irrelevant in the near future. WiMax serves several functions in wireless connectivity, but it was largely created to provide “last-mile” broadband connection to homes and businesses. In my opinion one of the best parts of WiMax is that instead of using fixed lines like cable or telephone line to bring Internet access into a building, WiMax uses transmitters, like cell-phone towers, to carry its signal. WiMax technology does not require line-of-sight to the user, so several subscribers can connect to a tower, even if it is blocked by trees or other buildings. This makes WiMax particularly useful and cost-effective for rural homes and other locations set in a geography that would make laying a traditional hardwire difficult and expensive.

    You mentioned that WiMax is effected by weather but so is WiFi. As Professor Tallon said in class WiMax is WiFi on steroids, who could say no to that. Most people get extremely frustrated when the web page takes more than a couple seconds to load, so for many people I think WiMax is the answer cure this frustration. It is incredible how fast the internet is now compared to how it was ten years ago. This makes me excited to know what is to come, and I think that WiMax is a little preview. I understand that WiMax still has its flaws because it is still in its infancy. It has the same flaws as WiFi, but WiMax provide a larger radius of wireless connection, which is awesome! I think that the one thing that is going to get in the way of WiMax is that WiFi has already saturated a significant percentage of the market. Also, WiMax is more expensive than WiFi, so I think that it will take a couple of years until the residential users will enter into the market.

    In conclusion, I agree with you Filip and believe that WiMax will be revolutionary, starting with large businesses and corporations then eventually getting to the residential areas. This is a step in technology that will eventually benefit all.