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WiMax in Computer Network

Last Updated : 12 Feb, 2023
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WiMax stands for Worldwide Inter-operability for Microwave Access. This technology is based on IEEE 802.16. It is used to provide higher data rates with increased coverage. It is based on MAN (Metropolitan Area Network) technology. Its range is upto 50 Km. It may provide speed upto 70 Mbps and it can operate in Non-Line-of-Sight. This technology is fast, convenient and cost effective. 


  1. Physical Layer: This layer specifies frequency band, synchronization between transmitter and receiver data rate and multiplexing scheme. 
    This layer is responsible for encoding and decoding of signals and manages bit transmission and reception. It converts MAC layer frames into signals to be transmitted. Modulation schemes which are used on this layer includes: QPSK, QAM-16 and QAM-64. 
  2. MAC Layer: 
    This layer provides and interface between convergence layer and physical layer of WiMax protocol stack. It provides point to multipoint communication and is based on CSMA/CA (Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Avoidance). The MAC layer is responsible for transmitting data in frames and controlling access to shared wireless medium. The MAC protocol defines how and when a subscriber may initiate a transmission on the channel. 
  3. Convergence Layer: 
    This layer provides the information of the external network. It accepts higher layer protocol data unit (PDU) and converts it to lower layer PDU. It provides functions depending upon the service being used. 

Advantages of WiMAX:

  1. Wide Coverage Area: WiMAX can cover an area of up to 50 kilometers, making it suitable for providing broadband access in rural and underserved areas.
  2. High Data Rates: WiMAX can provide data rates of up to 75 Mbps, which is higher than many other wireless technologies.
  3. Scalability: WiMAX can be easily scaled to support a large number of users and devices.
  4. Interoperability: WiMAX is based on an international standard, which allows for interoperability between different vendors’ equipment.
  5. Cost-effective: WiMAX is a cost-effective solution for providing broadband access in areas where it is not economically feasible to deploy wired infrastructure.

Disadvantages of WiMAX:

  1. Limited Mobility: WiMAX is designed for fixed or nomadic (semi-fixed) use, not for mobile use.
  2. Interference: WiMAX operates in the same frequency range as other wireless technologies, which can lead to interference.
  3. Security Concerns: WiMAX uses a shared spectrum, which can make it vulnerable to security threats such as eavesdropping and jamming.
  4. Limited device availability: WiMAX devices are not as widely available as devices for other wireless technologies, such as WiFi.
  5. Limited penetration: WiMAX signals may have trouble penetrating through walls, buildings and other obstacles.


WiMAX technology is used in a variety of real-life applications, including:

Broadband Internet Access: WiMAX is used to provide high-speed internet access in rural and underserved areas where traditional wired broadband is not available.

Wireless Backhaul: WiMAX is used to provide a wireless link between a cellular base station and the core network, eliminating the need for a wired connection.

Mobile Broadband: WiMAX is used to provide mobile broadband services, allowing users to access high-speed internet on the go.

Public Safety: WiMAX is used to provide wireless connectivity for public safety networks, allowing emergency responders to communicate and share information in real-time.

Smart Grid: WiMAX is used to provide wireless connectivity for smart grid systems, allowing utilities to remotely monitor and control the power grid.

Telemedicine: WiMAX is used to provide wireless connectivity for telemedicine systems, allowing healthcare professionals to remotely diagnose and treat patients.

VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) : WiMAX is also used to provide a wireless link for Voice over IP (VoIP) phone services, allowing users to make phone calls over the internet.

Video Surveillance: WiMAX is used to provide wireless connectivity for video surveillance systems, allowing security personnel to monitor and record video footage remotely.

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