WiMax is short for Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access.
Wimax uses IEEE 802.16 standard and provides the last mile of (MAN) Metropolitan Area high speed internet access, so it is often called 802.16, as compared to 802.11
WiMax was created by the WiMax Forum, which was formed in June 2001 to promote the adoption of WiMax compatible products and services.
Although WiMax deployments are similar to a WiFi network, it has a few advantages over WiFi.
1. WiMax has the capability of covering wider areas than WiFi. While WiFi is a Wireless LAN networking technology, it can only reach a few hundred meters in the open air, WiMax is designed to be a MAN wireless internet access technology, it can cover an area of some 50 miles in diameter.
2. WiMax provides a higher speed wireless internet access. WiMax can be running at a speed up to 70M, three times as fast as 3G networks.
3. WiMax provides the last mile of internet access; it can connect WiFi hotspots to the Internet. And provide a wireless alternative to cables and DSL.
4. WiMax provides multi-media and telecommunications services, it is securer and can be upgraded.
Now while WiMax are becoming popular in EU countries and the North America, Asia, is also introducing WiMax technology as well. The goal for the long term evolution of WiMAX is to achieve 100 Mbit/s mobile and 1 Gbit/s fixed-nomadic bandwidth and can be expected to be one of the most widely used wireless internet access technologies in the future.