In this video, explore WiMAX and other cellular networking options, such as HSPA+ and LTE.
- When it comes to internet connectivity, you really only have two choices. Now, those two choices are called good ol' cellular WANs and WiMax. Now, these are two fairly similar technologies in that both of these technologies use the same cell towers for both of their access points, in essence, if you wanna call it that. Now, what's interesting here is that, well, let's start with WiMax 'cause he's kinda cool. WiMax is an extension of the good old WiFi networks that we see all over the place, the 802.11 standard.
WiFi is based on the 802.16 standard, which, instead of having a few hundred feet of range, this has a range, well, cell towers are in essence about 35 miles apart, and so this has a range around a little over 17 miles. So, what makes these nice is that we're not leaning on towers being all over the place, we can just use the existing cellphone towers and we can install our wireless access points onto these towers and get WiMax. So, WiMax is pretty good.
It runs fairly quickly in the multiple megabits per second. The downside to it is, like any wireless technology, it's susceptible to where you actually place this box and all those types of things. The things that's kinda cool about this, though, is that this particular company, Clear Communications, provides these boxes to you. You take this box and put it in your house, you plug it in, and if you want to, you can actually connect, I believe, you can see there's an RJ45 connection there. But what's actually kinda cool about these is that not only do they let you plug in, but they also act as a little WiFi network.
So, it sends and receives on the internet on the 802.16 standard, but then, it'll actually become a little hotspot and using regular old WiFi wireless, everybody can connect to it and can get on the internet that way. So, that is WiMax, and it's pretty good. It's been around for a while. It's never had quite the penetration that the WiMax folks would like, but it's certainly out there and it's pretty fast. The alternative to WiMax is good old cellular WANs. The thing you need to appreciate about cellphones is that this entire technology was developed only to carry voice, not data.
Over the years, there have been a number of data carrying standards that have come up to try to take this technology and start letting it send data. It's very complicated, so to make life easier, the cell companies can up with these terms called first-generation, second-generation and such, then they would say 1G, 2G, 3G, and right now we're in a 4G world. And these are just marketing terms, so they're highly imperfect. In fact, you'll even see things like this is 2.5G and stuff like that.
The bottom line is, for the Network+, there's really only two types of data transfer technologies you need to be aware of. The first one is called HSPA. HSPA runs in the single megabit per second kind of range and it would be considered a 3G technology, but it's been improved and now we have an HSPA+, which is running in the multiple megabits per second range and it's considered a 4G technology. What's interesting is that LTE is now coming predominant.
LTE runs in the tens of megabits per second range and most of the time when you see people touting 4G technology, they're talking about LTE. Now, the nice thing is that if you're gonna run these, first of all, you're gonna have some kind of device. For WiMax, you invariably have some kind of box like this, or a lot of times you'll see a little USB connector that you can plug into a laptop. They always think in terms of mobility with wireless technologies. Now, with a cellphone, things are gonna be a little bit different, and we tend to use the word tethering.
So, when we're tethering, what we're doing is we're taking the signal that's coming in and out of our cellphone and then we're connecting to other devices and sharing that connection. So, there's really two ways to do a tether. The more old school way is for me to take my device, turn tethering on and then I'll usually plug something in and run it into my laptop or whatever it might be. Another way we're seeing it done more and more today is wireless, and in that case, it's kinda like that WiMax device in that it's connecting through the cellular WAN on this side, but on the same token, it turns your phone into a wireless hotspot and allows people to connect to your phone via a wireless network.
So, the important thing I need you to appreciate for the Net+ exam is, number one, WiMax is on the 802.16 standard, whereas cellphones have a huge plethora of standards and they hide it under these G terms to make your life easier. There are hundreds of standards for cellphones, but for the Network+, just remember two, HSPA or HSPA+ and LTE.
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