What is the difference between LTE and WiMAX?

March 29, 2015

We have shared brief introduction to most asked question: what is 4G and what is WiMAX. Going further, it also comes in mind as to how 4G is different from its competitor WiMAX or vice versa. Through this post, we will try to highlight salient differences between 4G and WiMAX technologies as well as pointing out keep advantages of these two over one another.

Difference between LTE and WiMAX:

  • LTE-A make use of bandwidth from 1.4 MHz to 100 MHz for different channels, while WiMAX uses channels bandwidths up to 40 MHz
  • LTE uses different modulation for uplink and downlink while WiMax uses the same modulation for both uplink and downlink
    • LTE for uplink  uses SC-FDMA
    • LTE for downlink uses OFDMA
    • WiMAX uses SOFDMA for both uplink and downlink
  • LTE frame duration is 10 ms and for WiMAX, it is 5 ms
  • LTE-A can operate at speeds up to 450 km/h while WiMAX can operate upto 120 km/h
  • While LTE is compatible and enables roaming between LTE and 3G, WiMAX network doesn’t support legacy systems like 2G and 3G
  • Cost required for building WiMAX network is lower compared to that for building LTE network

Advantages of LTE over WiMax:

  • LTE-A is only true 4G technology
  • LTE is back compatible with previous mobile technologies like GSM, GPRS, UMTS, EDGE, WCDMA, HSPA, CDMA-one, CDMA2000, EV-DO, EV-DV and the synchronous SC-CDMA
  • LTE enables much greater speed for its mobile users – up to 450 km/h
  • LTE is a better technology in regards to power consumption of mobile devices due to use of SC-FDMA for uplink

WiMax Advantages over LTE:

  • Cost of deployment of WiMAX network is much cheaper when compared to LTE network
  • It is a great choice of technology for private mobile broadband wireless networks

Hope the above points help you in learning more about 4G and WiMAX especially from comparison point and their advantages over one and another. If you have any query, please mention it in comments section.

  • paul


    Newbie here, so please be gentle. In the description above it states “LTE-A can operate at speeds up to 450 km/h while WiMAX can operate upto 120 km/h”, can you expand on this, as I am not sure what this means, are you saying if the device is travelling at the above speeds it can still maintain its connection, or am I barking up the wrong tree?