Due to “human error” Vodafone Malta gave the wrong WiMAX subscriber data to regulator MCA (Malta Communications Authority). As a result, the MCA stated in its Communications Market Review, January-June 2008, that the number of subscribers to Vodafone Malta’s WiMAX service was actually fewer in 2Q 2008 than the previous quarter, going from 2,867 to 2,038. (The number of WiMAX customers in Q4 2007 was stated as 1,876.)

The news of the apparent subscriber decline sparked a spate of local media stories that Vodafone Malta’s WiMAX service was on the wane. But this was all down to a “mix-up” with the figures, says Vodafone Malta. 

The correct data, which has now been forwarded to MCA, is 949 WiMAX customers in Q4 2007, 1,717 in Q1 2008 and 2,042 in Q2 2008. “Actual figures since June indicate a steady growth of our WiMAX customer base,” adds Joseph Muscat, Head of Mobile Plus at Vodafone Malta.

Using 802.16d equipment from Airspan, Vodafone Malta launched its WiMAX service in June 2007 as a way to enter the fixed-line broadband market.

Although WiMAX subscribers may be on the increase, the service has clearly got some way to go before it can match the popularity of its cellular offering. On an island that has a population of 400,000, the Vodafone subsidiary has more than 200,000 mobile subscribers.