WiMAX (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access) is a wireless communications standard designed to provide 30 to 40 megabit-per-second data rates, with the 2011 update providing up to 1 Gbit/s for fixed stations. It is a part of a “fourth generation,” or 4G, of wireless-communication technology. WiMax far surpasses the 30-metre (100-foot) wireless range of a conventional Wi-Fi local area network (LAN), offering a metropolitan area network with a signal radius of about 50 km (30 miles).
The name "WiMAX" was created by the WiMAX Forum, which was formed in June 2001 to promote conformity and interoperability of the standard. The forum describes WiMAX as "a standards-based technology enabling the delivery of last mile wireless broadband access as an alternative to cable and DSL". WiMax offers data-transfer rates that can be superior to conventional cable-modem and DSL connections, however, the bandwidth must be split among multiple users and thus yields lower speeds in practice.