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JOB EXCLUSIVE Collected by: Rony Parvej


1. What is WiMax? What data rate does WiMax provides?

It is a protocol designed to provide an extension to wireless communication. In June 2001 IEEE formed a group called WiMax forum to define the WiMax standards. It’s an IEEE standard 802.16 based technology, which enables a last mile delivery of broadband access. It provides wireless communication at a distance of around 50kms.

WiMax would not replace Wi-Fi, but rather will fill in between hotspots and extend your Internet access on the go.

2. What data rate does WiMax provides?

Theoretically it is expected to provide data rate of around 74mbps, but in practice its much less at around 45mbps per channel. However as the channel is shared among multiple users, performance may be even low. IEEE standard 802.16 is expected to offer up to 1gbps of speed (ref:

3. What are the uses of WiMax? What are the advantages of WiMax?

With a data rate of about 40mbps and coverage of 50 km WiMax can be used as an easy alternative for cable and DSL broadband connections. It can also provide services like IP telephony (VOIP) and IPTV (TV over internet protocol), and video conference.

4. What are the advantages of WiMax?

- Relatively higher data rates compared to 3G or such mobile standards

- Wireless communication across city

- Data rates comparable to cable or DSL connection

- Lower cost of deployment

- Much faster installation

5. What is a WiMax gateway? How does WiMax works?

It is a stand alone indoor device which is installed at a good reception area. It acts as a wi-fi access point for other devices such as home pc, VOIP handset etc. WiMax operators generally provide this gateway device or subscriber unit which communicates with base station and provides wi-fi access within home or office for device like laptop, Smartphone.

6. How does WiMax works?

WiMax combines the advantages of favorite Wi-Fi and a wide coverage of cellular network. It takes a best part of wi-fi networks the fast speed and broadband internet experience. WiMax is a WAN technology; service providers will deploy a wimax network that enables access over long distance. Coverage for a geographical area is divided into a series of overlapping areas called cells. Each cell provides coverage for users within that immediate vicinity. When you travel from one cell to another, the wireless connection is handed off from one cell to another.

7. Compare WiMax with wi-fi.

-WiMax (IEEE standard 802.16) is primarily used to provide internet access to devices at long distance, covering many kilometers. Wi-fi (IEEE standard 802.16) is used to provide access to local networks, with limited distance.

-WiMax uses licensed or un-licensed spectrum, whereas wi-fi uses unlicensed spectrum.

-Wi-fi runs on media access controls CSMA/CA (carrier sense media access/collision avoidance) protocol which is connectionless, while WiMax uses connection oriented MAC protocol.

-Both standards provide peer-to-peer (p2p) networks and ad-hoc networks.

8. Do I need a licensed for WiMax technology?

WiMax may us either licensed or unlicensed networks, unlicensed network is open to all users. Wi-fi spectrum is unlicensed spectrum. WiMax service providers use licensed spectrum, which allows access to only subscribers and provide a better controlled service.

You as a user don’t need to own any license to use WiMax. All you need is a subscription with a service provider, same as your current mobile or cable TV subscription.

Unlicensed spectrum can be used for setting up your own WiMax network

9. Do we need special equipment to connect to WiMax networks?

Yes. A separate device that connects to a WiMax network is required. These devices acts as a communication interface between your home devices (notebook, smart phones, and VOIP handsets) and WiMax antenna or tower. This is what we call a gateway device.

At one end this device will communicate with a base station or tower with WiMax network and at other end it provides a wireless access point based service (generally an internet access) to internal devices.

Intel had introduced some chips with inbuilt WiMax antennas; in smart phones HTC had released their WiMax enabled devices. With such devices you won’t need additional device to connect to WiMax network.

10. Do I need to set up the WiMax access point like I did for Wi-Fi?

No. All you need is your WiMax enabled device and either a subscription or pay-as-you-go plan, or you can connect to a network maintained by a service provider offering WiMax service in your area.

If your device is WiMax enabled then connecting to WiMax network is as simple as using internet on your mobile device.

Even if you don’t have WiMax enabled device, all you need is plug and play device (generally provided by service provider) that will do all required setup.

11. If I switch service providers, can I take my equipment with me?

Yes. WiMax equipments are based on open standards, just like Wi-Fi, so one can easily change a services provider without changing the equipment.

However, if a service provider had installed a locking mechanism (like iPhone devices locked by T-mobile and Sprint) then such device will not work with other service providers.

In that case you need to upgrade the device’s firmware in order to use it elsewhere.

12. What is base station?

The central radio transmitter/receiver installed by service provider to broadcasts WiMax signals.

These transmitters are typically mounted on towers or tall buildings. Cellular networks are based on the concept of cells (a logical division of geographical area), each such cell is allocated a frequency and is served by a base station.

Base station consists of a receiver, transmitter and a control unit. Adjacent base stations use different frequencies to avoid crosstalk.

13. Is WiMax secure?

Yes, WiMax is a standard based design, and WiMax standards are well defined to provide much better and flexible security than wi-fi networks.

-WiMax security stack supports two encryption standards one is popular DES3 (Data Encryption Standard) and other is AES (Advanced Encryption Standard).

-Additionally it requires dedicated security processor for base station.

-It also defines minimum encryption requirements for the traffic and for end to end authentication.

14. What frequencies are used by WiMax networks?

Standards does not define any uniform global licensed spectrum for WiMax, however the WiMax forum has published 3 licensed spectrum profiles 2.3 GHz, 2.5 GHz and 3.5 GHz, in an effort to drive standardization and decrease cost. Also plans for use of analog TV spectrum (700 MHz) await the complete deployment of digital TV.

15. What are the limitations of WiMax?

WiMax can not provide highest performance over 50 kilometers. As the distance increases, bit error rate thus reducing performance. Reducing distance to less than 1km allows a device to operate at higher bit rate. A user closer to base station gets better speed at around 30mbps.

Also as an available bandwidth is shared between no of users, performance depends on number of active users connecting to that base station. So this needs a use of Quality of Service (QOS) mechanism to provide a minimum guaranteed throughput.

16. Why we need WiMax technology?

The simple answer is, for high speed broadband like internet access on the move. We have broadband connections that provide high speed networks, but are attached to LAN systems i.e. not portable. Wi-fi provides access to such systems but limited to a much shorter distance.

Then we have cellular networks which provide internet access but their speed is limited and they are relatively costly. To overcome these problems we need WiMax or comparable technology.