The emerging Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access (WiMAX) standard promises to be the core enabling technology for next-generation broadband mobile wireless applications including last mile broadband, hotspots, cellular backhaul and full mobile high speed broadband access.By Barry Dropping
Architected to ensure low latency and low jitter to support real-time services, WiMAX provides a wide range of QoS levels appropriate for a variety of applications and subscriber requirements including internet access, streaming services, interactive gaming, video-on-demand and voice-over-IP (VoIP) services. With its basis in robust Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM) modulation, shared data rates up to 70 Mb/s and an outstanding range of 3 to 5 miles, WiMAX leverages an internet protocol (IP) core that creates an open architecture for mobile data networks while significantly reducing network cost and complexity for delivery of high bandwidth personal broadband services (see Figure 1).
WiMAX has already begun making important inroads through real-world deployments. Small niche players, creating commercial hot spots for example, have proven out the technology as large players are beginning to position WiMAX in their wireless platforms. The drive behind WiMAX is so strong that many in the industry see WiMAX as the foundation of 4G networks, if not very real competition for today's 3G networks.
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