WiMAX stands for Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access, a telecommunication protocol that provides mobile and fixed internet access that was created in the WiMAX forum that aimed at promoting conformity and interoperability. Intel Corporation is the number one company in support of WiMAX. It broadly refers to implementation of the IEEE 802.16 wireless networks standards in similarity with the WI-Fi that refers to the implementation of the IEEE 802.11 wireless LAN standard.
The WiMAX forum allows dealers to sell their equipment as WiMAX certified hence ensuring a point of interoperability with other certified products that fir the same profile. The broad bandwidth of WiMAX makes it capable of providing portable mobile broadband connectivity across cities and countries via other devices.
(Ergen, 2009)Due to the low cost of installing a WiMAX network it is now possible to provide broadband to areas that were economically not possible to do so. It is also possible to provide a source of internet connectivity. With WiMAX, one can also provide data, telecommunications and IPTV services. It is also possible to provide a wireless alternative to DSL and cable for broadband access.
Cell phone technologies such as GSM and CDMA can now be replaced by WiMAX or can be used as an overlay to increase capability. It has also been considered as a backhaul for 2G, 3G and 4G networks across the world. Companies such as Sprint Nextel, Google and Intel have planned on using the WiMAX technology so as to provide triple play services such as Quality of service and multicasting. The first WiMAX mobile phone, Max 4G was unveiled in 2008 and the second, EVO 4G, one was unveiled by Sprint Nextel in 2010.
(Korowajczuk, 2010)The EVO 4G can have simultaneous voice and data sessions. It also has a frond facing camera that enabl4es the user to have video conversations.As efficient as WiMAX has turned out to be, it has also encountered some limitations. WiMAX cannot transfer 70 megabytes over a radius of 31miles and when it does, it increases bit error rate and leads to a low bit rate. Users that are distant from the cell tower obtain low speed as compared to those that are close to the tower. Due to the sharing of bandwidth among user, the performance of the WiMAX could go down if many users are in one sector.
(Ergen, 2009)LTE stands for Long Term Evolution whose overall objective is to provide a high access radio technology that offers speed mobility and can co0exist with other networks. Work on LTE began in2004 with the 3GPP.LTE assumes full Internet Protocol network framework and its design helps support voice in packet domains. LTE systems coexist with both the 3G and 2G systems and multi mode functions will occur across LTE/3G/2G. It was originally introduced to enhance the competitiveness of the 3G system in the future. It was also introduced to satisfy the users’ demands for higher data rates and quality of service and because of its low complexity.
The LTE was preferred due to its high spectral efficiency, its short set up time and transfer delay, and its ability to support variable bandwidth (Korowajczuk, 2010)The LTE and WiMAX are different in several areas. LTE is in the family of UMTS/4GSM and its primary use is in the general 4G, the WiMAX belongs to the 802.16 family and its primary use is in the Mobile internet. In the LTE the downlink occurs at 100Mbits in 20 MHz bandwidth and the uplink occurs at 50Mbits in 20 MHz bandwidth.
The WiMAX on the other hand has a downlink that occurs at 128Mbits in 20 MHz bandwidth an uplink of 56 Mbits in 20MHz bandwidth. While the LTE-Advanced is expected to offer peak rates of up to 1Gbits fixed speeds, the WiMAX update is expected to offer peak rates of al least1 Gbits fixed speeds. It is expected that both the LTE and WiMAX strategies will prevail as the LTE is designed to coexist with other networks. The WiMAX is fast and has more uses than the LTE. (Ergen, 2009)
Ergen, M. (2009) Mobile Broadband: Including WiMAX and LTE. Springer
Korowajczuk, L. (2010) LTE and WiMAX Network Design, Optimization and Performance. John Wiley& sons