WiMAX is a standards-based technology enabling the delivery of last mile wireless broadband access as an alternative to cable and DSL. WiMAX will provide fixed nomadic, portable and, eventually, mobile wireless broadband connectivity without the need for direct line-of-sight with a base station. In a typical cell radius deployment of three to ten kilometers, WiMAX Forum Certified™ systems can be expected to deliver capacity of up to 40 Mbps per channel, for fixed and portable access applications. This is enough bandwidth to simultaneously support hundreds of businesses with T-1 speed connectivity and thousands of residences with DSL speed connectivity. Mobile network deployments are expected to provide up to 15 Mbps of capacity within a typical cell radius deployment of up to three kilometers. It is expected that WiMAX technology will be incorporated in notebook computers and PDAs in 2006, allowing for urban areas and cities to become “Metro Zones” for portable outdoor broadband wireless access.
WiMAX delivers broadband to a large area via towers, just like cell phones. This enables your laptop to have high-speed access in any of the hot spots. Instead of yet another cable coming to your home, there would be yet another antenna on the cell-phone tower. This is definitely a point towards broadband service in rural areas. First get the signal to the area, either with a single cable (instead of one to each user) or via a point-to-point wireless system. Then put up a tower or two, and the whole area is online. This saves the trouble of digging lots of trenches, or of putting up wires that are prone to storm damage. However there is one promising technology that still uses cables to deliver a broadband signal to, well, wherever. It doesn't require laying any new wires (like cable Internet), and it doesn't require overhauling a lot of existing systems (like DSL). It’s BPL: (broadband over power lines). As the name suggests, it piggybacks a high-speed data signal on those ubiquitous power lines.
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