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Nowadays, more than one billion users around the world access a variety services on the internet. The internet is a widely used research tool, providing society with access to global information and instant communication. Besides, access to the internet is a very flexible, can occur anytime from a computer anywhere: at home, at work, at school, in a restaurant, on an air plane and even at the beach. An increasing demand for access to information has led to an explosive growth of access and wireless technologies.
For the past 10 years, dial-up access is one of the ways to connect through internet. Dial-up access takes place when the modem in your computer uses a standard telephone line to connect to the internet; however, it is a slow-speed technology. There is no doubt that the world is going wireless faster and more widely than anyone might have expected.
Nowadays, people are using higher-speed broadband as a way to connect through internet. Wireless Fidelity (Wi-Fi), third-generation (3G), Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) and Ultra wideband (UWB) technologies are very important in delivering high-speed communication.
Today, WiMAX technology is the latest broadband wireless access brought in to Malaysia. It is an acronym meaning for “Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access”. WiMAX is a continuum of coexisting, overlapping technologies that enable wireless high-speed communication. This fourth-generation (4G) technology offers greater range and bandwidth than other available.
WHAT IS WIMAX?
WiMAX is a wireless broadband access technology that provides performance similar to Wi-Fi network. It is a wireless digital communication system that intended for wireless “metropolitan area network” using micro wave. WiMAX technology offers greater range connectivity and can reach a theoretical 30 miles coverage radius and achieve data rates up to 75 Mbps.
The overall concept of metropolitan area wireless networking begins with what is called fixed wireless. Here, a base station is connected to a public network and each base station supports hundreds of fixed subscriber station, which can be both public Wi-Fi hot spots and firewalled enterprise networks. WiMAX technology enables users to establish wireless connection between multiple location within a metropolitan area without a high cost of laying fiber or copper cabling and leasing lines.
The WiMAX Forum is a wireless industry association of more tan 480 suppliers and Internet access providers dedicated to developing specification and testing equipment. There are two types of Wimax specifications defined by WiMAX Forum; fixed wireless and mobile wireless. A fixed wireless WiMAX enables users to access the Internet from a desktop computer at home or other permanent location. Whereas, mobile wireless WiMAX, a customer can access to the internet with mobile device such as smart phone.
HOW WIMAX WORKS?
A WiMAX base station can be connected to public network using optical fiber, cable, microwave link or any other high-speed point to point connectivity, referred as a backhaul. WiMAX has been designed to address challenges associated with traditional wired and wireless across deployments. Typically a WiMAX system consists of two parts, a WiMAX base station and a WiMAX receiver.
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A WiMAX base station consists of indoor electronics and a WiMAX tower. Typically, a base station can cover up to 6 miles radius (theoretically, a base station can cover up to 50 km radius or 30 miles, but practical consideration limit it to about 10 km or 6 miles). Any wireless node within the coverage area would be able to access the internet.
The WiMAX base station would use the media access control layer defined in the standard (a common interface tat makes the networks interoperable) and would allocate uplink and downlink bandwidth to subscribers according to their needs, on an essentially real-time basis.
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A WiMAX receiver may have a separate antenna or could be a stand-alone box or a PCMCIA card that sits in a laptop or computer. Access to WiMAX base station is similar to accessing a wireless access point (AP) in a Wi-Fi network, but the coverage is more.
Automatic Teller Machines
The ability to provide ubiquitous coverage in a metropolitan area provides a tool for banks to install low-cost ATMs all across rural and suburban area. This is a totally discounted possibility today because of the cost of satellite links and security issues with other modes of backhaul. WiMAX may bring ATMs and services kiosks to bank client in distant suburban or rural areas. This means comfort for clients and enhanced business for banks.
Video on Demand
Video-on-demand, one of the most hyped technologies that never took off, may get its due now. With WiMAX, a technology has been found that can make its base wider and price point better suited to the demands of customer. WiMAX allows video-on-demand to reach the masses at low cost, and hance to more people who really do need these services (unlike today when it is available to a few in city centers who have far more economical ways to get those video). Another intresting part is the alternative videos and content related to learning, training, can become revenue-generating mechanism.
With the emergence of this sector both in fixed and mobile forms globally, people without broadband are just waiting for technologies to make their access more pervasive and faster. WiMAX will be the technology that can provide the joystick to rural and urban people, both at home and on the move. The wait for the child in everyone seems to be coming closer to an end.
Support for nomadic services and the ability to provide ubiquitous coverage in a metropolitan area provides a tool for law enforcement, fire protection and other public safety organizations, enabling them to maintain critical communications under a variety of adverse condition. Private networks for industrial complexes, universities and other campus-type environment also represent a potential business opportunity for WiMAX.
Wireless video surveillance is a cost-effective, flexible and reliable tool for monitoring traffic, key roads, bridges and dams. Wiresless video surveillance can also be used for special events as deploying video surveillance with WiMAX as backhaul is easy and less time consuming.
Although VoIP has been around for years, it has not been a viable alternative for most applications owing to technology constraints. Recent technology advancements have dramatically improved quality and now VoIP service providers are positioned to offer an affordable alternative to traditional circuit-switched voice services for both businesses and consumers.
VoIP services differ from traditional voice services because the voice conversation is transmitted over a proprietary broadband network or the public internet. This allows VoIP providers to bypass the expensive public switched telephone network (PSTN) and use a single broadband connection to transmit both voice and data. This not only reduces costs for voice providers that can be passed onto consumers, but enables corporate telecom providers to layer features such as unified messaging and Web-based call control through the convergence of voice and data.
Wireless VoIP is a simple and cost-effective service that allows a subscriber to use VoIP services while on the move. This is possible because of WiMAX, which can provide carrier-grade connectivity while being wireless.
Today, new individuals are increasingly adopting smart phone. This gadget offers more advanced computing ability and connectivity than a contemporary basic ‘feature phone’. A smart phone is an internet-enabled phone that usually also provide PDA capabilities. The demand of gadget is increasing among teenagers due to their capabilities and features.
Based on the increasing growth in demand for advanced mobile devices, I strongly recommend that today gadgets such as iPhone should be implemented with WiMAX technology. These gadgets should come with a build-in WiMAX receiver to give users a good mobility experience. This implementation should be brought in to Malaysia to increase the demand for internet access through phone.
Besides, this WiMAX technology also will allows users to make calls through VoIP which make the price of making call cheaper compared to other Telco. This not only reduces costs for voice providers that can be passed onto consumers, but enables corporate telecom providers to layer features such as unified messaging and Web-based call control through the convergence of voice and data.
The implementation of WiMAX technology in Smart phone will make a better tomorrow.
The term WiMAX has become synonymous with IEEE 802.16 wireless metropolitan area network (MAN) air interface standard. Filling the gap between wireless LANs and WANs, WiMAX-compliant system will provide a cost-effective fixed wireless alternative to conventional wireline DSL and cable in area where those technologies are readily available. “Metropolitan area” wireless networking isn’t new, but the specialized equipment that receives the broadband signals has typically been too expensive for everyone, WiMAX technology can provide cost-effective broadband access solution in areas beyond the reach of DSL and cable.
New enterprises as well as individuals are increasingly adopting broadband, whereas those already using broadband are becoming dependent on it and are demanding better services with added benefits. To support unprecedented new demand, wireless broadband has emerged as a viable solution. WiMAX, because of its inherent features, holds great promise for future of broadband communications.
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