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Global WiMAX Subscribers to Cross 2 Million by 2009-End
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Global WiMAX Subscribers to Cross 2 Million by 2009-End

Dec 29, 2009
Notwithstanding the tough economic conditions in 2009, WiMAX successfully made considerable strides, and its subscriber base is likely to top 2 Million by the end of 2009.
According to ABI Research, it is expected that the total number of WiMAX subscribers across the world will reach 2 Million this year, with worldwide large-scale deployments being the main growth determiner, as per the news published by Softpedia.
The majority of subscribers appear to be coming from a small number of carriers worldwide. There are 173,000 subscribers with Clearwire in the United States; Yota in Russia had 100,000 subscribers in August 2009 and 200,000 in October; and Malaysia’s Packet One has 130,000 subscribers. UQ Communications in Japan is expected to have 300,000 subscribers by the end of 2009.
Besides, equipment suppliers have also witnessed stupendous growth in 2009. Recently, Motorola announced that it shipped its 1 Millionth WiMAX CPE and 10,000th WiMAX Access Point. Huawei, in 2008, attained a 200% growth in WiMAX revenue; and by the end of 2009, it expects to achieve that same growth level.

According to a market research report “Global WiMAX Market Analysis” by RNCOS, the need for broadband is pushing higher bandwidth demand as purveyors are connecting higher number of Wi-Fi hotspots and a large number of base stations. This provides a bright future for WiMAX, which offers a feasible wireless solution to mounting broadband connectivity and backhaul requirements.
LTE is likely to be the major competitor to the growing WiMAX networks, a technology which will soon begin to be deployed by carriers, including NTT DoCoMo and Verizon Wireless, targeting the same market segment. While LTE is anticipated to exceed the reach of WiMAX networks, the carriers are likely to begin upgrading their networks from 802.16e to 802.16m. This should happen in sync with the growing LTE activities in 2011 and 2012.
Moreover, various other matters like certain regulations or spectrum unavailability may obstruct WiMAX deployment to higher frequency bands (i.e. in the 2.5 GHz or 3.5 GHz frequency bands).
According to a Research Analyst at RNCOS, “WiMAX continued to make considerable strides even during the harsh economic environment in 2009. Next year (2010), the deployments are expected to turn into subscriptions. WiMAX adoption will also increase in 2010 because of several initiatives proposed for 2010 WiMAX Forum like launch of the Open Retail Certification Program and Certification of Mobile WiMAX 2.3 GHz products.”
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