(Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access) A wireless wide area network (WWAN) technology that conforms to certain parts of the IEEE 802.16 standard. WiMAX's focus is the WirelessMAN-OFDMA air interface in the 2.3, 2.5 and 3.5 GHz bands. For more on the IEEE standard, see 802.16.|
Governed by the WiMAX Forum (www.wimaxforum.org), WiMAX allows ISPs and carriers to offer last mile connectivity to homes and businesses without having to route wires. In addition, Mobile WiMAX provides high-speed data for users on the go, even in fast trains. Whereas Wi-Fi hotspot coverage is measured in feet, WiMAX cells are measured in miles similar to the cellular systems. WiMAX is expected to compete with the cellular carriers' 4G LTE service (see IMT-Advanced).
WiMAX Femto Access Points
WiMAX femtocells improve coverage within a building. A "WiMAX femto access point" (WFAP) is a small, indoor base station with a limited range. It connects to the organization's network and passes data to the WiMAX carrier's network via the Internet (see femtocell).
Google, Clearwire and WiMAX
In 2008, Sprint and Clearwire merged to develop Internet access to mobile devices using WiMAX, rather than the traditional CDMA and GSM cellular technologies. Google also invested in the venture (see Clearwire).