Currently the majority of internet access takes place in three ways:
Broadband – This is in widespread use in homes and offices. Usually home users have DSL or cable modem and offices go in for T1 or T3 lines depending on the amount of bandwidth they need for operations.
WiFi – This technology brought the internet to users almost everywhere. These days you can access the internet while you are at a coffee shop, hotel or even restaurants without having to fix a physical cable into your laptop. The freedom of wireless connectivity has almost created a mobile society.
Dial-up – The technology that brought a multitude of people into the world of the internet is almost dead. The lack of bandwidth in dealing with today’s web requirements is the chief cause.
If you look at all these technologies, they have their advantages and disadvantages. Broadband is fast but expensive and sometimes requires a physical line to be laid from the exchange. Dial-up is inexpensive but slow. WiFi is extremely convenient but WiFi hotspots are not to be found everywhere.
But what if you could have WiFi everywhere you go; for example, while you are travelling in the train, in another part of the country, etc. This is what WiMax aims to achieve.
Using widespread coverage similar to cell phones, the technology will bring the internet to everyone, everywhere. This will bring about a truly mobile society where people can stay plugged in 24/7 no matter where they go. The best part is that it will be cheaper than a DSL connection and as convenient as using WiFi in that you only have to switch on your computer to find a connection. WiMAX is abbreviated from the term ‘Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access’.