Difference Between LTE and WiMAX


LTE (3GPP Long Term Evolution) and WiMAX (Wireless Interoperability for Microwave Access) are high speed 4G wireless technologies. 3G growth ends at HSPA+ and mobile operators started deploying 4G networks to offer more bandwidth to mobile handsets. These 4G technologies give virtual LAN reality to mobile handsets and to feel the real experience of the triple play services.

With High Speed Internet connection on mobile, users can enjoy Voice calls, Video calls and high speed download or upload of any data, and watch Internet TV in live or on demand services.

Already 4G smart phones handsets are released by Motorola, LG, Samsung and HTC mostly with Android operating system. Android Wi-Fi hotspot feature enable us to use the 4G mobile as replacement of home broadband services.

In short, 4G migration has moved us from single lane roads to 100 lanes motorway or freeway to travel faster. In reality it brings the places closer. Same as in Smart phones when you make video calls from LA to Sydney and talk to a person, the face to face call with good quality voice and video brings the world closer.

LTE (3GPP Long Term Evolution)

LTE (Long Term Evolution) is the latest mobile access network technology categorised under the 4G networks. The major expectation on LTE is higher speed and mobility. LTE is already deployed in US and in some of the European counties. The initiative for LTE started in 2004 and the first release was 3GPP Release 8, released in March 2009.

LTE is supposed to offer 326 Mbps with 4×4 MIMO and 172 Mbps with 2×2 MIMO in 20 MHz spectrum. LTE supports both FDD (Frequency Division Duplexing) and TDD (Time Division Multiplexing). The major advantage in LTE is high throughput with low latency. In reality LTE is offering 120 Mbps at the moment and the speed depends on the user’s closeness to the tower and the number of users in a particular cell area.

Most preferred 4G technology is LTE by the service providers and most mobile operators started providing LTE with LTE 4G handsets from Motorola, LG, Samsung and HTC.

Next Generation of LTE is LTE advanced which is being developed now. LTE Advanced is backward compatible with LTE but LTE is not backward compatible with any 3G networks.

WiMAX (IEEE 802.16)

WiMAX (802.16) (Wireless Interoperability for Microwave Access) is a 4th Generation mobile access technology for high speed access. The current version of this technology can provide around 40 Mbps in reality and the updated version is expected to deliver 1Gbps in fixed endpoints.

WiMAX falls under IEEE 802.16 family and 802.16e (1×2 SIMO,64 QAM,FDD) gives 144 Mbps download and 138 Mbps upload. 802.16m is the expected version to be delivered around 1Gbps in fixed endpoints.

WiMAX has fixed version and mobile version. The fixed WiMAX version (802.16d and 802.16e) could be used for broadband solutions for home and can be used for backhauling remote offices or mobile stations. The WiMAX mobile version (802.16m) could be used as the replacement of GSM and CDMA technologies with expected high throughput is referred as WiMAX 2.

Difference Between LTE and WiMAX

(1) Both are high speed 4G wireless access technology using OFDMA –MIMO gives us high throughput.

(2) Both LTE and WiMAX are all IP networks with low latency.

(3) Both give high speed internet access for mobile users to experience the reality of the triple play services.

(4) The next generation of LTE is LTE Advanced and advancement of WiMAX is WiMAX 2.

(5) LTE operates in 700 MHz, 2.1 and 2.5 GHz frequency and WiMAX operates in 2.1, and 3.5 GHz frequencies

  • al

    Interesting stuff. However, the ITU has approved ONLY LTE-Advanced and WiMax2 as 4G technologies. This guy must be a phone company shill, trying to convince us that 4G today is true 4G. It’s not. You’ll notice even T-Mobile advertises “4G speeds.” LTE and WiMax give 4G speeds, but is not 4G.