Understanding WiMAX


There are now more than 592 WiMAX deployments currently underway serving a range of usage models from fixed to mobile services in more than 140 countries covering 430 million people worldwide. And 20 percent of are in Asia

At the beginning of 2010, the GSMA projected that there would be US$72 billion invested in mobile broadband technologies through the year, of which US$34 billion (or 47%) was slated for Asia.

What is WiMAX?

WiMAX (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access) is a protocol that provides fixed and fully mobile Internet access. WiMAX 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.

It is a 4G based technology.

WiMAX Evolution

  1. Fixed WiMAX- it has no support for mobility and is based on IEEE 802.16d
  2. Mobile WiMAX – Based in IEEE 802.16e-2005
  3. WiMAX2 Now work is being done to create WiMAX2 since 2010 which will be based on IEEE 802.16m

Why WiMAX?

WiMAX is OFDMA-based with its advantages for:

  • High tolerance to multipath and self-interference
  • Scalable channel BW
  • Orthogonal uplink multiple access for reduced interference between multiple users
  • Frequency selective scheduling
  • Fractional frequency reuse

Enhanced Speed and Range

WiMAX Speed 40Mbps

WiMAX2 (exp) 1.0 Gbps

WiMAX 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

WiMAX in India?

India is a huge market for broadband wireless services and offers immediate and enormous potential for growth. WiMAX is the only 4G broadband technology compatible with the 2.3 GHz BWA spectrum in India that today enjoys widespread global deployment along with a mature ecosystem of vendors, devices and applications.


According to TRPC, one sixth of the world’s mobile phones are in China and India alone. If China continues to favour its own 3G (and future 4G) standard overWiMAX this could tip the balance for the future of BWA while India’s stance on 3G technology adoption also has great potential to impact market dynamics.


  1. The state of the telecoms industry KPMG
  2. Broadband Wireless Access in Asia-Pacific, KPMG
  3. WiMAX a way forward in India, WiMAX forum
  4. The Indian Telecom Success Story KPMG

Arunabh Mishra has worked as a tech-consultant, a network engineer and a software engineer with Vodafone, Accenture (British Telecom). He also co-founder of a blogertising startup '3ardent'. He has developed a certain niche for wireless and telecom industry. A graduate in electronics and communication he also has a knack with pen & creativity.

One can follow his blogs at www.3ardent.com, arunabhmishra.wordpress.com


Updates from around the world