Advantages of WiMAX | Disadvantages of WiMAX

This page covers advantages and disadvantages of WiMAX. It mentions WiMAX advantages and WiMAX disadvantages. WiMAX stands for Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access

WiMAX is IP based wireless broadband access technology. It provides performance similar to wifi networks with coverage and QoS (Quality of Service) of cellular networks. WiMAX can provide broadband wireless access upto 30 miles for fixed stations and 3 to 10 miles for mobile stations.

As shown in the figure, wimax network consists of two elements viz. wimax base station (BS) and wimax subscriber stations (SSs). The wimax BS provides coverage to larger area (about 3000 square miles) with more number of SSs. It is also known as wimax tower. Wimax SS is small box size or PCMCIA card size device. It can be connected to desktop or laptop. There are different frequency bands supported by wimax. There are two different versions of wimax viz. fixed wimax and mobile wimax.

The fixed wimax supports fixed subscribers while mobile wimax supports mobile subscribers. Wimax specifications for PHY and MAC are defined in IEEE 802.16 series of standards.

WiMAX Advantages

Following are WiMAX advantages:
➨It supports very high speed voice and data transfer over longer distances.
➨Single wimax BS serves hundreds of users.
➨It is considered to be cheaper alternative to broadband wired technologies viz. ADSL, Cable modem etc.
➨Higher speed can be achieved.
➨Higher coverage range and cellular like performance are achieved with mobile wimax.


WiMAX Disadvantages

Following are WiMAX disadvantages:
➨LOS (Line of Sight) connection is needed for subscribers located at the far distant from the WiMAX BS.
➨Bad weather conditions such as rain will interrupt the wimax signal and often cause loss of connection.
➨Wimax is power consuming technology and requires significant electrical support.
➨High initial cost is needed as it is not backward compatible with any of the wireless cellular technologies. Fresh wimax BS and towers are required to be installed. This leads to higher initial costs and higher operational costs due to skilled man power requirements.


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