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Why Should You Care About WiMAX?

Why Should You Care About WiMAX?

Feb 1, 2007
Mary Hobson
Technology Schools Columnist

Would you like to be able to access your wireless Internet service all across town without having to hop from library to coffeeshop? The technology is finally in place to enable you to do all of this and more. The creation of WiMAX--a kind of extended WiFi--will allow you to connect no matter where you are.

Why WiMAX?

The WiMax network is based on WiMAX towers, similar to cell phone towers, which provide coverage for the ISP over a very large area--up to 3,000 square miles. To connect, you will simply need a modem-sized device or a built-in WiMAX card. The good thing about WiMAX is that it is not only far-reaching but also wireless--and therefore less expensive to install. It has the capability to combine different technologies, such as mobile telecoms and broadband.

So what difference will this make to you? Well, you'll be able to connect to the Internet over a wide geographical area--as far as 30 miles away from the base station. You'll be able to use this for everything that you would do through normal broadband, such as fast movie and music downloads, and voice chat programs. When enough of the country is covered by WiMAX, you may find that you have connectivity over a very wide area indeed.

The other thing it means is jobs. With the expansion of any technology comes job opportunities for technicians. Information technology is one of the fastest-growing industries in the U.S. today, and all you need to get your foot in the door is an IT degree. You can earn your education on campus or online (maybe through a WiMaX network!), and before you know it, you could be certified as a developer, administrator, technician or one of many other specialties.

This is the next step in the real accessibility of the Internet as a part of everyday life. If you want to be a part of it, it's time to get your information technology degree.


About the Author

Mary Hobson is the Head of IT School at a Polytechnic in New Zealand. She has also worked as an executive officer in a defence facility and as a university lecturer in computer science and management information.