Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access, also known as WiMax, is a standard for wireless communications that will allow, in addition to lowering Internet connection costs, to broaden broadband wireless technology throughout the country. Above all, those areas that are not still reached by high-speed connection today, such as the countries that are in particularly mountainous territories. Thanks to the fact that this type of connection is based on wireless radio signals. It is designed to revolutionize the world of connectivity.
What is WiMAX?
WiMAX is a standard for wireless broadband access. WiMAX is a technological standard for wireless Internet connection over long distances. WiMAX devices are divided between the Base station and the Subscriber Station. The former is installed by ISPs (Internet Service Providers) and has the task of spreading the mark within a vast geographical area; the latter are installed by users and play the same role as a modem in a cable connection.
WiMAX can be used for different purposes: it can be used as a backhaul, or as a data transmission bridge between two different segments of a network; for wireless broadband Internet access (as an alternative to a DSL or satellite connection) or as an alternative to the LTE standard (Long Term Evolution) in mobile Internet access.
This type of technology, unlike wi-fi, covers very large areas located around the base antenna, managing to arrive even where traditional connections do not arrive, such as the ADSL and optical fiber.
Although similar to simple keys, the WiMax promises far higher performance by guaranteeing connection stability, an absence of signal interference and a navigation speed equal to that of an ADSL. It is always possible to access the network also by traveling on vehicles that reach high speeds.
The devices that establish the connection with the WiMax access point are the Customer Premises Equipment, whose code is better known as CPE, and are of two different types, indoor, and outdoor. The first is used when the base antenna is nearby, i.e. within a few kilometers, while the second device when the base station is far away or hindered by elements that cover the signal, such as buildings or plateaus. Territorial coverage offered usually only from GSM networks.
How WiMAX works:
In practical terms, the WiMAX standard (identified by IEEE 802.16) is a WAN (Wide Area Network). The service provider shall install the territory a series of antennas that connect to the Internet Backbone distribute the signal to ensure maximum coverage.
Data transmission can take place in two different ways. The antennas can propagate their microwaves both in non-line-of-sight mode (technical term translatable as “not directly visible ") on a lower frequency, or in line-of-sight mode (" directly visible ") on much higher frequencies.
The first mode is used in urban environments, where the signal has a high probability of being shielded from buildings, trees or other buildings. The working frequency range is from 2 GHz to 11 GHz and the computer connects to the WiMAX network via small antennas or portable dongles to be connected directly to the computer. This mode of work recalls Wi-Fi, both for frequencies and connection modes.
The second operating mode is used in areas where the probability that the signal is shielded is very low (open countryside, places with few inhabitants, etc.). The line-of-sight works with frequencies close to 60 GHz and is ideal for covering very large areas (a single antenna can spread its signal up to 50 kilometers away, for total area coverage of just under 8,000 square kilometers).
To counteract the effect of shielding, WiMAX uses highly advanced wireless technologies. Only in this way the 802.16 standards can guarantee a high speed in data transmission covering a very large surface.
Among these, two of the most important are the Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access (OFDMA) and the Multiple Input / Multiple Output (MIMO).
The first allows you to divide a signal before sending it into many pieces independent of each other to increase the spectral efficiency. Operating in this way, even if some data packets do not arrive at their destination, it will still be possible to reconstruct the signal for the receiving node.
The second one, instead, guarantees the sending and receiving of data simultaneously thanks to the use of multiple antennas. The incoming and outgoing data travel on different routes and will not interfere with each other's journey. This technology is particularly useful in urban environments, where the probability that waves are shielded from external factors - such as buildings, trees, monuments, and other buildings - is very high.
Coverage and speed of WiMAX:
For a device to obtain WiMAX certification from the WiMAX Forum consortium (a group of companies that collaborate to produce interoperable devices and machines), it must comply with the precise guidelines established in the IEEE 802.16 standard. The specifications are particularly restrictive in terms of connection speed and area covered by the signal.
According to this standard, each WiMAX antenna must be able to cover an area of a radius of approximately 50 kilometers, equivalent to an area of approximately 8,000 square kilometers, ensuring a speed of about 70 megabits per second.
With this type of connection, you can surf and download documents and audio-visual files safely and continuously, even while traveling on transportation, such as a train, bus or car, without having to look for a hotspot. In an open area, public or private, you can entertain video conferences, business meetings or simply follow streaming broadcasts, since the quality of the signal does not undergo power drops.
The WiMax connection system is very simple in its operation, in fact, to bring the signal from the starting point to the computer or, in general, to the devices used by the users, it needs only an antenna, which transmits a signal that succeeds in cover an area of 8000 square kilometers, and a receiver of the signal itself. It is precisely this receiver that finally transmits the signal to the individual computers, allowing them to access the Internet quickly and constantly, without service interruptions. Finally, among the other features of WiMax, it is important to know that this type of connection allows a good data transmission speed even if you are in a moving environment up to a speed of 120 km / h.