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Overview of Wireless Wide Area Network (WWAN)

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  • Last Updated : 17 Mar, 2021

WWAN : WWAN (Wireless Wide Area Network) is a WAN (Wide Area Network) and the only thing is that the connectivity is wireless. It provides regional, nationwide and global wireless coverage. Where Wide Area Network can be wired or wireless the Wireless Wide Area Network connections are completely wireless. In our day today life we are using the Wireless Wide Area Network of different sizes and depending on it delivery of telephonic calls, Web pages and streaming video, data sharing occurs.

WLAN (Wireless Local Area Network) differs from WWAN (Wireless Wide Area Network) technology wise for example when WLAN uses WiFi to connect and transfer data, WWAN uses telecommunication cellular network technologies such as 2G, 3G, 4G LTE, and 5G to transfer data.

WWAN not only always refers to a wide area rather a closed area with large geographic coverage is also considered as WWAN. For example a MANET (Mobile ad hoc networks) with nodes on buildings and towers or planes. A Low Power and low bit rate Wireless Wide Area Network (LPWAN) is also considered as WWAN. For example transmission of small packets of information between things in case of IoT (Internet of Things) implemented applications.

A general example of WWAN which we use in our daily life is a laptop installed with WWAN card establishes a secure and fastest connection and brings us to online so that we do our work from anywhere.

The below figure illustrates the wireless connection to Wide Area Network.

In the above figure, several wireless devices are configured with the WLAN (Wireless Local Area Network) served by the Router-A and Router-B is a wireless router which connects to Router-A through ethernet and connected to the WAN (Wide Area Network) wirelessly flashed with DD-WRT.

Families of WWAN :

The main three families of WWAN technologies include

  2. WiMAX
  3. CDMA One/CDMA2000

Characteristics of WWAN :

  1. Reduced transmission speed as compared to physical connection.
  2. It is based on IEEE 802.16 standards.
  3. On increase of distance, decrease of throughput occurs and vice versa.
  4. Getting faster due to Gigabit-Class LTE.

Advantages of WWAN :

  • Global wireless coverage
  • Flexible with cloud management, deploying and relocating
  • Better security than WLAN
  • Diverse, cost effective backup for data applications.
  • Quick deployment for new applications.

Disadvantages of WWAN :

  • Replacement of lost WWAN may be costly.
  • To maintain the reliable network connectivity.
  • To build a cost effective solution is a challenge.
  • Decreased throughput during large coverage area.
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