This series is commissioned by Intel 4G WiMAX.
First, there was dial-up. Then there were network cables. More recently, Wi-Fi has taken over.
Now, there’s a new contestant in the Internet connection space, 4G WiMax.
WiMax is like Wi-Fi on overdrive. It has a greater distance of coverage, with wireless networks spanning miles, not just several hundred feet.
WiMax, or a competing standard, LTE, will be responsible for giving us Internet coverage everywhere – from trains, planes, and coffee houses to your business. As WiMax gains steam, more and more small businesses are turning to it as an Internet solution.
Why are they turning to WiMax?
Companies are using WiMax for coverage, protection, and speed. WiMax is a good solution if service in your area is spotty, or you just want backup for your wireless. WiMax offers a snappy 2-5 Megabits per second.
Other businesses are simply looking to switch from traditional service providers, and WiMax is the new, best thing.
Because WiMax uses licensed radio signals from the government (Wi-Fi relies on unlicensed signals), its coverage is more vast, spanning roughly 10 miles per tower. This can be appealing for companies that do a lot of business via the web or need to link remote employees to their connections.
Perhaps the best benefit for small businesses, besides speed and range, is the ability to have a backup connection. Right now, if your company loses power due to a storm or an unexpected disaster, your Internet goes down. If WiMax is backing up your company, your Internet connection won’t be interrupted, which will save productivity and in some cases protects the consumer experience.
There is only a limited number of WiMax towers, but that won’t be an issue for long. Clearwire is a backer of this new technology, and it wants to bring WiMax nationwide. If all goes according to plan, small businesses, and every company for that matter, can expect to receive their Internet connections with the speed of wired broadband and the convenience of mobile access.
It could completely change (and improve) your home office and business experience by making Internet available quickly, anytime, anywhere.
As previously noted, there is a limited number of WiMax towers. WiMax is still expanding, with 53 cities operating on it so far. This obviously limits its range and capabilities. As more WiMax locations come online, its adoption will accelerate.
According to smSmallBiz.com, “While providers are working on products to enhance WiMax, wider coverage and true mobility won’t be realised until the larger players — Sprint Nextel Corp. and Clearwire Corp. — build out their networks.”
Also, because WiMax is fairly new, it isn’t as widely tested as older technologies. Affordability may be an issue due to switching costs.
The bottom line:
Time will tell on most of these issues. But overall, small businesses that have tried the new Internet connection have been pleased with the results. Small business Silver Star Motors made the switch, and they’ve been happy with the decision. “[Our Internet has] never gone down since,” says their IT manager.
Once a few more towers go up, it may be time to evaluate making the switch at your company, too.
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