Wi-Max is an IP based, wireless broadband access technology that provides performance similar to 802.11/Wi-Fi networks with the coverage and QOS (quality of service) of cellular networks. Wi-Max stands from "Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access.
Wi-Max is a wireless digital communications system, also known as IEEE 802.16 that is intended for wireless "metropolitan area networks". Wi-Max can provide broadband wireless access (BWA) up to 30 miles (50 km) for fixed stations, and 3 - 10 miles (5 - 15 km) for mobile stations. In contrast, the Wi-Fi/802.11 wireless local area network standard is limited in most cases to only 100 - 300 feet (30 - 100m).
With Wi-MAX, Wi-Fi-like data rates are easily supported, but the issue of interference is lessened. Wi-MAX operates on both licensed and non-licensed frequencies, providing a regulated environment and viable economic model for wireless carriers.
At its heart, however, Wi-Max is a standards initiative. Its purpose is to ensure that the broadband wireless radios manufactured for customer use interoperate from vendor to vendor. The primary advantages of the Wi-Max standard are to enable the adoption of advanced radio features in a uniform fashion and reduce costs for all of the radios made by companies, who are part of the Wi-MAX Forum - a standards body formed to ensure interoperability via testing. The more recent Long Term Evolution (LTE) standard is a similar term describing a parallel technology to Wi-Max that is being developed by vendors and carriers as a counterpoint to Wi-MAX. http://www.Wi-Max.com/general/what-is-Wi-Max
In the mid 1990's, telecommunication companies developed the idea to use fixed broadband wireless networks for potential last mile solutions to provide an alternate means to deliver Internet connectivity to businesses and individuals. Their aim was to produce a network with the speed, capacity, and reliability of a hardwired network, while maintaining with the flexibility, simplicity, and low costs of a wireless network. This technology would also act as a versatile system for corporate or institutional backhaul distribution networks and would attempt to compete with the leading Internet carriers. The huge potential for this flexible, low cost network generated much attention to two types of fixed wireless broadband technologies: Local Multipoint Distribution Services (LMDS) and Multi-channel Multipoint Distribution Services (MMDS). LMDS was primarily intended to speed up and bridge Metropolitan Area Networks in larger corporations and on University campuses. MMDS was meant to provide a means for local television network distribution and for residential broadband services. However, the high costs, lack of standards, and fear of vendor lock-in prevented LMDS from taking off early on. As a result, in 1999 the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) devised the 802.16 standard for LMDS. This standard, which was eventually released in 2001, operated on a point-to-point radio link network by means of line of sight transmissions, and had a frequency range of 10 GHz to 66 GHz. However, since this standard was modeled off of Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) technology and had restricted capabilities, developers focused more exclusively on the 802.16 standard that functioned in the range of 2 GHz to 11 GHz. In 2001, the Wi-Max Forum was established with the agenda to market and promote the 802.16 standard. There they coined the term Wi-Max (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access). In 2003 the IEEE came out with 802.16a, which transmitted data through non-line of sight radio channels to and from omni-directional antennas. Later on, in 2004, the 802.16-2004 standard was released. This standard combined the updates from the IEEE 802.16a, 802.16b, and 802.16c regulations. This broadband system extended the Wi-Max service to a 30-mile range and had the ability to disperse its network between...