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SNHU - IT-340 Network and Telecommunication Management
Written by: Chris Bell - September, 2013

WiMax VS Wifi - Information Technology

The newest technology of WiMax is said to replace that of WiFi with a longer and more effective range of service. Those living in suburban areas tend to have difficulty finding service until a wire is run from the center of the city all the way out to their home. Even folks within the center of cities commonly have issues with service due to obstructions in the way of the signal line. To get a simple and clear understanding of what WiMax is, imagine a cell phone tower on steroids. Imagine coverage of 30 miles instead of a couple hundred feet and a signal that can wrap around obstructions, such as bridges, so that you don't lose service during a call.

Currently, in order for a home to experience wireless internet they must pay a monthly fee to have a provider run a cable to their home. The connection ranges about 100 square feet in order to supply service throughout an entire home. WiFi hot spots such as your local Starbucks will allow customers to use their service in hope for increased sales. So if the connection isn't all that secure in your home, you can travel to Starbucks and use theirs for free. However, that's the old way of connecting your devices to the Internet.

The new way is called WiMax. WiMax would be purchased by towns, cities and entire Universities because the range of distance is so far. The connection within your home can spread about 100 feet in any direction and a cell phone tower can spread within a few, straight line only, miles. A single WiMax tower can spread over 30 miles with less, or no, obstructions and the availability of many more users at once.

Let's assume the city of Manchester New Hampshire purchased a WiMax tower in order to supply the entire city with Internet service. Once completed, anyone can connect to the Manchester WiMax within 30 miles of the tower. The monthly charge would go to Manchester and once you're a customer you can enjoy that service in your home, in your car and anywhere else within 30 miles of the tower. Also, there aren't any wires that need to be connected to each home or building because the service is completely wireless.

A large University is a good example of someone that might purchase a WiMax tower. The tower would not only cover the entire campus but also cover students that live just off campus (depending on the size of the campus). All of the students would have a very secure connection to the Internet which has become necessary for those in college. As the main provider of service, the University can be assured that each student has service and won't have to accept homework excuses from students that say they didn't have service.

One of the main challenges of deploying WiMax is that it's a new way of allocating service which cuts out the current middle men that run wires from cell towers to homes. Once the WiMax tower is erected anyone within 30 miles that has a password can use the service. The owner of the tower can then allocate service to whomever they choose.

There are many more positive traits about WiMax than negative. A single WiMax tower can replace about 20 to 30 cell phone towers with a much better connection. As a home owner switching will be very easy. Simply call your current provider to pick up your current cable modem, and then call your WiMax provider for a password. You'll no longer have a modem in your home and no longer need service technicians to come out to correct issues.


Marshall Brian. How WiMax Works. Retrieved from: