WiMAX is an OFDM-based technology that supports point-to-multi-point broadband wireless access for next-generation radio access such as 4G. In this paper, we evaluate bit-error-rate performance of fixed WiMAX (IEEE 802.16d) and mobile WiMAX (IEEE 802.16e) transmission systems with various modulations and channel coding techniques. In the digital communication phenomenon, coding schemes are broadly used as a term mostly referring to the forward error correction code. The advantage of the forward error correction code is that retransmission of data can often be avoided. The simulation results include performance analysis based on bit-error-rate versus signal-to-noise-ratio plots and spectral efficiency of different modulation and coding schemes according to the IEEE 802.16 general standard. The results show that the proposed zigzag-coded modulation possesses a stronger error correcting capability according to the Reed Solomon with Convolutional code for both fixed WiMAX and mobile WiMAX standards. (C) 2012 The Franklin Institute. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.