WiMAX, short for "Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access", is a standards-based wireless technology that provides high-throughput broadband connections over long distances. It can be used for a number of applications, including "last mile" broadband connections, hotspots and cellular backhaul, and high-speed enterprise connectivity for businesses.
What is the magic of WiMAX (IEEE 802.16)? Turn on your mobile PC, and you will be instantly connected to the Internet at speeds of up to 70 megabits per second. Even after the signal is divided up between various home and corporate users, it will still surpass data transfer rates that you experience with DSL or cable modem access.
什么是 WiMAX(IEEE 802.16)技术呢？打开你的电脑，你就能以70 M/P的速度飞快的接入英特网，即使一个端口被多个用户分流使用，它的传输速度还是能胜过DSL或cable接入。
With a higher speed and a longer range than Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11), WiMAX does not conflict with Wi-Fi but complements it. As a wireless metropolitan area network (WMAN) technology, WiMAX connects Wi-Fi hotspots to the Internet and provides a wireless extension to DSL and cable for last mile broadband access. The technology provides up to 50 km of linear service area range and allows users connectivity without a direct line of sight to a base station. Note that this should not be taken to mean that users 50 km away without line of sight will have connectivity.
However, cost remained one of the last hurdles to its proliferation. Another potential problem is compatibility. That is why early products are aimed at network service providers and businesses, not consumers. It is great to have the potential to enable even more millions to access the Internet wirelessly, cheaply and easily. While Wi-Fi wireless coverage is measured in square meters, that of WiMAX is measured in square kilometers! A WiMAX base station would beam high-speed Internet connections to homes and businesses in a radius of up to 50 km; these base stations will eventually cover an entire metropolitan area, turning that area into a WMAN and allowing true wireless mobility within it, as opposed to hotspot hopping required by Wi-Fi. The technology will eventually be used in notebook computers and PDAs and has the potential to upset the apple cart in phone service.
It should be duly noted that claims of 50 km range, especially claims that such distances can be achieved without line of sight, represents, at best, a theoretical maximum under ideal circumstances. The technical merit of this claim has yet to be tested in the real world. No test has demonstrated the technical or practical feasibility of this number.