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Difference between WiMAX and WiMAX2 network technology

WiMAX vs WiMAX2 network technology

With the growing demand for broadband internet connection, a common term that is heard in these communication circles is WiMAX technology. Just what is it all about? There are different means through which you can connect to the internet. In general, you can either connect to the internet through cable, which requires a physical cable that runs from the provider to your machine, or, alternatively, you can opt for the use of a wireless communication when the terrain is quite wide.

Both WiMAX and WiMAX2 are a form of wireless internet communication link that makes use of microwave technology to allow users to have access.  The microwave technology is a form of mobile communication that can be used to provide high speed internet connection and help save on the costs that would be charged to a user who desires wired technology, which is quite costly to set up, especially if the area that requires the connection is in a remote region. It is often for this reason that wireless connectivity is preferred, to allow people in rural areas, where the links might be distant, to gain access to the internet at a fair price. As specified by ITU, this is a technology accepted for use in 4G networks. It is based on the IEEE 802.16 standard, commonly referred to as wirelessMAN, with the main objective to be a form of reliable mobile technology allowing broadband access, offering similar benefits as those provided by cable.

The spectrum that is utilized by the WiMAX technology ranges between 2.3 GHz to 3.5 GHz. The OFDMA (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access) is the Multiple Technology that is employed when dealing with the spectrum. Its bandwidth ranges from 1.25 MHz to 20 MHz depending on the demand experienced by the connected devices.

The main limitation that the WiMAX technology has is that it can either cover a radius of 50 Km or have a downlink that can clock up to 70 Mbps, but not both. The closer the distance to the link, the easier it is to find a strong communication link. Otherwise the link will be weaker due to the distance between the radio and actual link receiving the signal. The WiMAX technology works on the basis of three main issues: the Access Security Network (ASN), the Mobile Service Station (MSS) and the Connectivity Service Network (CSN).

WiMAX2, on the other hand, is an IEEE 802.16m standard whose implementation was completed in 2012. The main benefit that it presents is that it is backward compatible with the already present 802.16e which is the standard WiMAX technology. This in effect means that upgrading it will be quite cost effective to the end user. This portal has a downlink that can exceed 100 Mbps. Such a high downlink ensures that there is lower latency and a higher VOIP capacity. The aim is to have the downlink reach 300 Mbps with the current technology which is ITU compatible with 4G network specifications. WiMAX2 also has an advanced bandwidth radius which starts at 5MHz to 40 MHz.


WiMAX maximum speeds are a downlink of 70Mbps while Wimax2 has maximum speeds that may reach 300mbps.

The bandwidth of WiMAX ranges between 1.25 MHz to 20 MHz while that of Wimax2 ranges from 5 MHz to 40 MHz.

The use of WiMAX is more prevalent but uptake of WiMAX 2 is expected to be on a steady rise due to its additional benefits and ability to work on existing WiMAX technology.

WiMAX 2 provides a better signal link than WiMAX.


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