On What Frequency Does WiMax Operate?

When it comes to setting of frequencies, only one institution has the final word about it and this is none other than the Federal Communications Commission or FCC. WiMax variants operate both on FCC licensed (10 to 66 GHz range) and unlicensed frequencies (2 to 11 GHz range). The previous versions of WiMax standards in the 802.16 spectrum range from at least 2 GHz up to 66 GHz. This is quite an enormous spectrum range, but then again, practical market deliberations were done to consider the range that can be offered with most utility and sales potential.

The biggest segment that is being used in the United States is around 2.3 to 2.5 GHz. This is primarily assigned to Clearwire and Sprint Nextel. Asian countries, such as India and Indonesia use a mix of 2.5 GHz, 3.3 GHz and other frequencies while Pakistan uses around 3.5 GHz.

The WiMax Forum is the group that is responsible in creating a profile that is designed for specific bands. The three bands that the group is lining up are: (a) 5.8 GHz – effectively unlicensed in many countries such as United Kingdom, (b) 3.5 GHz – licensed in several different regions, and (c) 2.5 GHz – licensed in the Americas.

Indeed, it is a fact that the higher the spectrum frequency is, the greater the amounts of bandwidth to be transported, therefore lower frequencies make use of less bandwidth. In addition, the lower the frequency is, the greater the penetration and carry range of the signal, which means it can still be transmitted with the presence of trees and small/large buildings. 

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