Mobile WiMAX subs revenue to top $15bn by 2014

Annual revenues from WiMAX 802.16e broadband subscribers will exceed $15 billion globally by 2014. That is the headline finding of a recent report from Juniper Research, which says it trimmed its previous WiMAX revenue forecasts on account of spectrum auction postponements in several countries, funding problems from the credit crunch, and slow network implementations.

Juniper believes the main opportunity for WiMAX lies in providing improved experience for broadband customers who are receiving low speed DSL or cable modem services, or at the limit of DSL coverage.

“Whilst market leaders such as Clearwire are launching services and expanding internationally, there are also well-publicised challenges for WiMAX such as those highlighted by French regulator ARCEP,” says report author Howard Wilcox. “We’re on the cusp of make or break time for WiMAX.”

ARCEP say that out of the 3,562 locations that should have been covered with WiMAX service by 30 June 2008, only 657 were connected as of 31 December 2008. Moreover, Bollore Telecom, the largest WiMAX provider, has only completed 13 per cent of its planned installations; its competitor, Altitude, has finished only 15 per cent.

In addition, the Juniper report says the WiMAX ecosystem needs to deliver by translating trials into reliable, commercial services that attract customers.

According to Juniper, North America, Far East & China and Western Europe together will account for 70 percent of 802.16e subscriber revenue by 2014. Africa and the Middle East, South America, the Indian Sub Continent and Eastern Europe, calculates the market research firm, will be worth together some $4bn by 2014.

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