WiMax is the acronym for Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access. It is a wireless digital communications system that allows transmission of data in various ways, ranging from point-to-point links to full mobile cellular-type access. It is also referred to as IEEE 802.16 or WirelessMAN, which is designed for wireless "metropolitan area networks". It’s name was created by the WiMax Forum, a group formed in June 2001 whose objective is to promote conformity and interoperability of the standard.
WiMAX is able to provide broadband wireless access (BWA) up to 30 miles (50 km) for fixed stations, and 3 – 10 miles (5 – 15 km) for mobile stations. WiMax Forum describes WiMAX as "a standards-based technology that enables delivery of last mile wireless broadband access as an alternative to cable and DSL"
At present, Pakistan is the country which has the largest fully functional Wimax network in the world. It was Wateen Telecom which installed the network to 17 cities on its initial rollout throughout Pakistan with the use of Motorola hardware.
With WiMax bandwidth and range, the following are its uses to some potential applications:
1. It conntects Wi-Fi hotspots with other parts of the Internet.
2. It provides wireless alternative to cable and DSL for "last mile" broadband access.
3. It provides data and telecommunications services.
4. It provides source of Internet connectivity as part of a business continuity plan.
5. It provides portable connectivity.
Let us welcome WiMAX as the second-generation protocol which allows more efficient bandwidth use, interference avoidance, and provides higher data rates over longer distances.