Internet Access

Comparison of WiMax and FTTH


WiMAX stands for Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access. The industry trade group WiMAX ForumTM ( ) has defined WiMAX as a “last mile” broadband wireless access (BWA) alternative to cable modem service, telephone company Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) or T1/E1 service.

FTTH stands for Fiber to the Home, in america, operators name it as FTTP fiber to the premises. A fiber line is run to the home and terminated at the home. FTTH can be set to provide very large bandwith compared to WiMaxwhich is throttled back by the wireless link. FTTH brings all services that WiMax can bring, and even more – at faster speeds.

FTTH is compromised of two main types of system architectures, Active FTTH and Passive Optical Networks (PON). Active FTTH networks utilize electronic equipment in neighborhoods that provides layer 2 and layer 3 switching and routing to the carrier’s central office. PON networks avoid placing electronic equipment in the field by using passive splitters to deliver fiber to each home and leave the switching and routing to be performed at the carrier’s central office.

Comparing the cost associated with each technology suggests that WiMax is superior to FTTH. However, FTTH is likely to have a longer lifetime than both WiMax , which would need replacing in an expected 5 – 10 years. Including both the current cost of implementing these alternatives to FTTH and upgrading them years later to continue to compete with FTTH makes the initial investments of FTTH more attractive to telecommunication companies because of the longer product life.

Improvement of the “last mile” will continue to be fueled by emerging and innovated services that will bring high quality, multimedia rich experiences into the homes and lives of consumers. The demand for faster connections will force the telecommunications industry to become more innovative about implementing “last mile” connections to help foresee bandwidth usage and future communication applications to ensure the success of the industry. FTTH allows the industry to continue to meet the demand for bandwidth for years to come.