Typically, a WiMAX system consists of two parts:
- A WiMAX Base Station: Base station consists of indoor electronics and a WiMAX tower. Typically, a base station can cover up to 10 km radius (Theoretically, a base station can cover up to 50 kilo meter radius or 30 miles, however practical considerations limit it to about 10 km or 6 miles). Any wireless node within the coverage area would be able to access the Internet.
- A WiMAX receiver - The receiver and antenna could be a stand-alone box or a PCMCIA card that sits in your laptop or computer. Access to WiMAX base station is similar to accessing a Wireless Access Point in a WiFi network, but the coverage is more.
Several base stations can be connected with one another by use of high-speed backhaul microwave links. This would allow for roaming by a WiMAX subscriber from one base station to another base station area, similar to roaming enabled by Cellular phone companies.
Important Wireless MAN IEEE 802.16 (WiMAX) Specifications
Range - 30-mile (50-km) radius from base station
Speed - Up to 70 megabits per second
Non-Line-of-sight (NLoS) between user and base station
Frequency bands - 2 to 11 GHz and 10 to 66 GHz (licensed and unlicensed bands)
Defines both the MAC and PHY layers and allows multiple PHY-layer specifications.