From a business deployment standpoint, WiMax is essentially a replacement for the wire line Internet connectivity method. It's a new method of delivering Internet to a facility or a customer's premises in a reliable way without wires, T1, DSL or cable. Whereas WiFi is for local hotspots, WiMax has medium bandwidth as well as ten Mgs of bandwidth for a local LAN connection. WiFi is for a LAN, and WiMax is for the WAN but is much faster and can get up to gigabit speeds and licensed spectrums. WiMax can run on a licensed or unlicensed spectrum and WiFi is exclusively unlicensed on a fixed number of channels. Following recent protocol, WiMax also takes in the new standard 802.16 vs. 802.11..The idea is that you could deploy much faster than with traditional land lines and attain much more flexible bandwidth. Rather than have a phone company come out and provide you with wires and equipment, the company turns up the broadband on their end. Basically, WiFi is access to a LAN, and while WiMax can be used for that, one of its most beneficial uses is as a fixed wireless solution.
This was first published in July 2008