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wimax is still used in Japan, mainly for "pocket wi-fi" gadgets which you can buy or rent (the latter mainly for visitors or tourists). They compete with LTE but there's still a market because they don't have completely overlapping feature sets w.r.t. coverage and bandwidth.



WiMAX is dead in Japan. You can't get new devices on it, half of the spectrum has been refarmed to LTE (leaving speeds in the single-digit Mbits) and the network is shutting down by next year.

There's a WiMAX brand selling "WiMAX 2+" but that is just LTE.


Thanks for the update. I checked out the situation a few times the last two or three years or so (the last time more than a year ago), and things are apparently changing (also re. the next post). At one point there certainly was wimax though, the coverage / area was quite different.


They don't make it easy to understand what's going on since they still have a toggle between "LTE" and "WiMAX" that you can switch. The former is fast metered MVNO data on the main carrier of the telco that owns them and latter is "unlimited" data on their own separate radio spectrum with different coverage. But the latter is still actually LTE.

I actually still have a legacy wimax device and plan active since it was the last plan with true unlimited with zero "fair use". It also had a usage scale so on months I don't use it it's only 300 yen. So a good backup device. I've loaned it out to people who had have to spend a week in hospital (no wifi) and they've burned through 30 GB streaming video with no issues. They send me letters every couple months urging me to upgrade to a new plan that all cost 4000/mo and have fair use data caps.


What the Japanese carriers sells as wimax 2 is apparently rebranded lte.




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