What Is Wimax Technology Computer Science
Wimax, which stands for Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access, conforms to IEEE 802.16 standard. This technology provides wireless communication from a point to multi-points using many ways of communication, such as fixed Wimax or Mobile Wimax. We can consider Wimax as Broadband Wireless Access or Metropolitan Wireless Access. It provides bandwidth up to 72Mbps without any cables. Moreover, it also provides the wide length of broadband internet that can be used instead of cable modem or DSL technology. The name Wimax was created in June 2001 by Wimax forum to cooperate with the IEEE 802.16 standard.
There are some sub technologies of Wimax that makes the people confused that are 802.16d referring to Fixed Wimax as the ability of non-mobilized function. Base stations of fixed Wimax are connected to a public network using backbone which supports a multiple fixed subscriber stations. And 802.16e refers to Mobile Wimax that came later to provide wireless communication using the features like General Packet Radio Service (GPRS), and Radio Transmission directly to mobile phones.
There are less than 20% of worldwide people have an access to the internet today due to the areas that difficult to get an access, or even the internet providers now become possible everywhere because most people in the world cannot afford for installing any existing technologies, and paying for the bill every month of getting internet access. It becomes clear that the next coming of Wimax era would be the significant paradigm shift for broadband wireless access as it can provide wider distances to any locations, and reduce cost for installing this kind of technology with a better range and bandwidth comparing to the other broadband technologies now, such as DSLs, cable modems or Tx/Ex systems.How Wimax Works
There are base stations which provide an access to any subscriber users within the base station. Each base station has backhauls that connect base station to the public networks. The backhaul is a wire communication link using optical fiber, cable with high bandwidth connectivity. From a base station to any subscriber users, Wimax typically uses antennas across wide distance as a Line-of-sight Point-to-Multipoint or Non-Line-of-sight (NLOS)to connect users to base station.Wimax Technology DesignGenerally, there are two Wimax parts. First is a Wimax Base Station (BS), and a Customer premise Equipment (Wimax CPE) that is a Wimax receiver. The backhaul connects BS to other public networks.Wimax Base Station (BS)A Wimax base station has one tower to transmit signal to receivers with many internal devices. Ideally, one base station can transmit signal to cover up to 30 miles around it, but actually due to the noise in the environment, it cover only 6 miles around the station. The MAC control sublayer is used by the base station to handle uplink and downlink bandwidth to receivers like other standard.Customer premise Equipment (Wimax CPE) or Wimax receiverA Wimax receiver may be similar to a router having a separate antenna to receive signal from base station and transmit to other Wimax devices, or similar to a wireless adapter for a stand-alone device, such as a labtop or a desktop computer. Each receiver can have access to base station in the way that is similar to connecting to a Wi-Fi network, but Wimax provides more coverage of signal than other Wi-Fi technologies.
One concern with the Wimax technology so far is the cost of installation at the receiver's sites. Other broadband access, such as DSL, or cable modem can provide customers with self-installation instruction, and user manual to help them solve their problem by themselves. However, for Wimax, high-skilled in-house technical supports are still required from Wimax's customers, but this problem is getting better soon.Wimax backhaul
Wimax backhaul can refer to the connection between Wimax receivers to Wimax base station using antenna, or between Wimax base station to other Wimax stations, or other non-Wimax networks using any high speed features, such as optical fibers, or microwave links. This also includes the roaming mechanism by a Wimax receiver when it moves from one station's coverage to another station's coverage.Type of Wimax Technology
There are two main types as mentioned before, a fixed Wimax and a mobile Wimax. A Mobile Wimax will provide services to moving objects without loss of signal. There are three types of Wimax user, stationary, pedestrian and vehicular. Stationary and pedestrian users fall within a fixed Wimax. And, vehicular users fall within a mobile Wimax.Wimax History
There had been 2 years of Wimax development before it became to IEEE 802.16 standard in April, 2002 by the Wimax forum that was established in Apr, 2001. The Wimax forum provided a certification to any hardware that conformed to Wimax specification. However, the hardware that conformed to Wimax standard did not necessarily conform to IEEE 802.16 standard because Wimax standard was related with only a portion of IEEE 802.16 standard at that time.
The Wimax forum was established with many leading companies including CossSpan, Nokia, Harris, Wi-Lan and Ensemble. There are more than 200 companies involved nowadays including Intel, Aperto, or Proxim to create standard and protocol to Wimax devices.
Later, the Wimax conference in Jan, 2005 was organized with many organizations involved, with the questions that why there was no Wimax available at that time, and how to provide Wimax in the future.
It became clear that Wimax was new, unstable, and Wimax devices might not work with any Wimax standards that would be proposed in the future. Some vendors were afraid of these issues, yet still created, and provided the way to upgrade firmware later to conform to the Wimax standard.
In 2006, the first Wimax hardware was released into the market and at the same time Wimax standard became final that is compatible with IEEE 802.16 standard nowadays. As a result, vendors can develop their devices compatible to IEEE 802.16 to get certified from the Wimax forum.Benefits of Wimax Technology
Whereas Wi-Fi aims for only local area network (LAN), Wimax provides the capabilities for Metropolitan Area Network (MAN) that can be used for LAN as well. Wimax can be substitute for Wi-Fi, or work with Wi-Fi by providing portable functions to connect Wi-Fi network to other networks using high-speed wireless signal with better length. Also, it can work with a cellular network to provide better range from a network to clients. However, Wimax can be replacement of Wi-Fi due to the limited ability of Wi-Fi to penetrate some areas that can be accessible with Wimax.Range of Wimax Technology
Wimax operates at 3.5 GHz frequency that is higher than the 3G frequency. With higher frequency, it provides 50% lower range than 3G range. Ideally, one base station can support the range up to 30 miles around it with Line-of-Sight links and 6 miles around it with Non-line-of-sight links depending on the height of the base station, and the barriers between the base station and the receiver. Non-line-of-sight mechanism uses modulation technique to gain signal when penetrate through barriers that Wi-Fi cannot penetrate.
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