The internet nowadays is very important. An average person these days has accounts on Twitter, Facebook, other social-networking sites, email services and online games; and they all need to be checked and maintained as frequently as possible. With the world getting faster and closer each day, there is a need for a mobile Internet connection on-the-go. The plain old dial-up access is now unreliable. What people need today, because of its growing importance, is a wireless Internet connection anytime, anywhere. The new technology WiMAX wants to provide that, and it has a very promising future.

WiMAX, which stands for ‘Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access’, is the fourth generation (4G) wireless Internet connection. Also called by the IEEE name of 802.16, it is essentially like a WiFi connection; but the WiMAX has a range of kilometers of radius and can cover a huge area. It is WiFi on steroids. Because of its ability to service many users within its range, 4G is slowly gaining a foothold. Unlike the slow dial-up connection and wired broadband, WiMAX will be more preferred in the near future.

This 4G system is composed of two main pieces of WiMAX equipment: a WiMAX tower and a WiMAX receiver. The WiMAX tower is like a cellphone network tower, a single one can cover a very large area of up to a 30-mile radius. The WiMAX receiver on the other hand, can be a small box or the card built inside laptops (like how WiFi is accessed). WiMAX equipment is very much like the WiFi connection. Internet access starts from the Internet Service Provider (ISP) network that is linked to the WiMAX tower, which then sends signals and provides an area with wireless Internet. A WiMAX receiver, such as laptop or a wireless device, then connects online. This is basically the general idea behind WiMAX equipment. WiMAX has a range of 30-mile radius from tower; a speed of up to 70 megabits per second; and has frequency bands of 2 to 11 GHz (licensed) and 10 to 11 GHz (unlicensed). Its biggest difference is its ability to cover great distances. Of course, certain factors such as weather, terrain, large buildings, etc. may affect WiMAX equipment and reduce its range and speed.

But still, this 4G is the next big thing.

With WiMAX, one can now take advantage of a true Internet connection on-the-go. It isn’t restricted to hotspots like the WiFi, but anywhere and anytime as long as within the WiMAX range. It is fast, very mobile and reliable. Everyone can now tweet, change Facebook status and check emails while in a cab; or play online games and chat with friends while strolling in the park. No more searching for hotspots in coffee shops and bookstores.