As the first WiMAX deployments get underway it is clear that the network technology offers very different propositions for emerging and mature marketplaces. But over time, the business models in both markets will become more closely aligned as the operators, and the technology itself, evolves.

This is one of the key points to be delivered by Karim El Naggar, head of Alcatel-Lucent’s WiMAX business during his keynote presentation ‘Bringing Broadband Access to the World’ on Tuesday.

“Momentum is picking up in the market, there is a huge demand for basic access and lots of growth in emerging markets,” Karim told But he also made much of Sprint and Clearwire’s initiative in the considerably more mature market of the US.

Alcatel-Lucent is also behind the launch of the Worldmax network, which will make its debut at the WiMAX Forum Global Congress, in Amsterdam this week. During the event, Worldmax, Alcatel-Lucent and Intel will demonstrate Europe’s first ubiquitous mobile WiMAX 16e network.

The high speed mobile internet network is optimised for entertainment services, such as video and audio downloads, social networking, interaction, user generated content, anytime streaming video, internet TV and gaming on the go, and in future will support a variety of telecoms and business services. The service will initially be available on notebooks equipped with a WiMAX PC card and later on a USB dongle. In the near future Intel will also offer integrated WiMAX for Intel Centrino processor-based notebooks, and the service will eventually become available on personal mobile devices, such as mobile internet devices, smartphones and PDAs.

Karim said that the early deployments of WiMAX by operators would experience a rapid evolution, from both a business and technical perspective, in both mature and emerging markets.

“These Greenfield operators will evolve their abilities within two to three years,” Karim told “The first movers such as Worldmax will drive the market, but they will also evolve, and not just from a business and marketing perspective, but also on a technical level as well,” he said.

“For Worldmax, the market it is going into is already very competitive as it has existing 3G players, but the company has proved that it has a viable business model and 3.5GHz is one of the most challenging frequencies to work with, which makes it a very interesting first mover,” Karim said.

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