What is WiMax?



WiMAX stands for Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access. It is a standard for delivering long range broadband signals. WiMAX can be used for both mobile phones and computers.

WiMAX is different from WiFi. WiFi is unlicensed and broadcasts over a short range. Most Internet hot-spots in restaurants and hotels are currently WiFi, not WiMAX.

WiMAX uses licensed spectrum, just like cell phone carriers and radio stations. Although the signal degrades over distance, WiMAX signals could theoretically broadcast for 30 miles from a single point.

WiMAX can be combined with WiFi by placing a WiMAX receiver somewhere and broadcasting a WiFi signal from that station. This is how Clearwire suggests users share their Internet connection with a household.

Sprint and Clearwire created a new WiMAX company in 2008, which is also called Clearwire. Google is an investor in this new company.

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