WiMAX (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access) is a technology that provides fixed and fully mobile Internet access. WiMAX is a contender for “last mile” connectivity in rural and emerging markets where laying fiber, cable or DSL is not cost effective. Many smaller Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISPs) use WiMAX or similar technologies to provide Fixed Wireless service. Other companies are deploying WiMAX to provide mobile broadband or at-home broadband connectivity across whole cities or countries. In many cases this has resulted in competition in markets which typically only had access to broadband through an incumbent DSL (or similar) operator. Additionally, given the relatively low cost to deploy a WiMAX network (in comparison to GSM, DSL or Fiber) it is now possible to provide broadband in places where it might have been previously economically unviable.
WiMAX is a possible replacement candidate for cellular phone technologies such as GSM and CDMA, or can be used as an overlay to increase capacity. Current WiMAX speeds are upwards to 40 Mbps with expected updates to offer speeds of 1 gigabit per second (Gbps) for fixed WiMAX. Fixed WiMAX is also considered as a wireless backhaul technology for 2G, 3G and 4G networks in both developed and developing areas of the country.