Indoor WiMax to rival 802.11a

Much has been written in the past year about WiMax's promise and potential, and whether the 802.16e would be a competitor or merely complement it. Now Cygnus Communications argues that WiMax may well have another role to play -- as an alternative to 802.11a. Cygnus's Mike Librizzi told Techworld that, "There's nothing that precludes the use of WiMax on the LAN... You will get an improvement in data rate, and a service that can stream to multiple devices."

802.11a operates in the unlicensed 5GHz band, and low-power WiMax equipment may well be used with similar restrictions as a WiFi kit but with considerable advantages such as QoS. Indoor WiMax would be better for home networks and more robust against interference. Just imagine a wireless broadband provider offering a comprehensive WiMax-based solution, which includes an in-building LAN, by bundling a low-power base station with the wide-area WiMax receiver it provides. As the two services would both be on licensed spectrum, the operator would have more control. "Operators don't like the idea of users running a home network. They would rather run it," said Librizzi.

For more on in-door WiMax:
- see Peter Judge's Techworld report
For more background on indoor WiMax:
- see Daniel Briere and Patrick Hurley's Techworld discussion
- read Paul Piggin's White Paper (pdf)