Worldwide mobile WiMAX infrastructure revenues nearly quadrupled in 3Q 2008 compared with the same quarter the year previously.

This is according to analyst firm the Dell’Oro Group. “With LTE still a couple of years away, WiMAX has become the first next-generation technology with commercial service,” says Scott Siegler, senior analyst of mobile infrastructure research at Dell’Oro Group. “Mobile WiMAX revenues were very strong in the third quarter of last year, and we anticipate revenue for the fourth quarter to set another record.”

The outlook, however, is not so rosy. In the wake of the global credit crunch, Dell’Oro Group predicts, as with Infonetics Research that this year will be a difficult for the WiMAX community. “As we look into 2009, we expect the WiMAX market to be hit rather hard by the economic downturn,” continues Siegler. “Building out brand new networks from scratch requires tens, if not hundreds, of millions of dollars of capital. Compounding the tightening in the credit markets, the increasing cost of capital and the decrease in demand for broadband data as consumer spending weakens, we anticipate many network buildouts will be put on hold or delayed into 2010.”

From a technological development standpoint, this will shorten the time-to-market advantage that WiMAX, according to Dell’Oro, which expects initial LTE rollouts in the 2010 to 2011 timeframe

Dell’Oro’s latest quarterly report also shows that the top four mobile WiMAX vendors in 3Q 2008 – Samsung, Motorola, Alcatel-Lucent and Alvarion – represented nearly 90 percent of the total market.