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WiMAX (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access) is a telecommunications protocol describing fixed and fully mobile Internet access services. The protocol conforms to certain parts of the IEEE 802.16 Standard.
Coined by its namesake industry group, the WiMAX Forum, which was formed in 2001 as a nonprofit organization created to promote the adoption of WiMAX-compatible products and services, and certify the interoperability of WiMAX products, subsequently designated as WiMAX Forum Certified.
Consumers are most likely to encounter WiMAX products and services in "last mile" applications. WiMAX allows ISPs and carriers to provide Internet connectivity to homes and offices without requiring the use of physical wiring (copper, cable, etc.) leading to the customer’s premises.
WiMAX is often compared to Wi-Fi; both have wireless Internet connectivity at their core, and the technologies are complementary. Primary similarities and differences include: