WiMAX proving ‘resilient’, says analyst

WiMAX is holding its own, despite the economic downturn, although it will come under increasing pressure to prove itself over the next couple of years with the rise of HSPA and LTE.

This is one of the headline findings of In-Stat, a market research firm, in its report on wireless infrastructure awards during Q408.

“Based on contract awards, WiMAX deployments are remaining resilient in the face of the economic slowdown, although some operators are slowing the deployment rate,” says Daryl Schoolar, an In-Stat analyst. “The WiMAX equipment heavyweights of Alcatel-Lucent, Alvarion, Motorola and Samsung are benefiting from the trend. Other vendors to watch include Cisco, Huawei and ZTE.”

In-Stat expects mobile WiMAX to be attractive in developing countries and remote locations in which fixed broadband networks are not yet deployed. It is still unknown, says In-Stat, whether or not mobile WiMAX will be competitive in locations with existing 3G cellular and fixed broadband networks.

According to In-Stat there were 132 announced wireless infrastructure deployments during Q408: 95 HSPA, 18 WCDMA, 12 mobile WiMAX, six CDMA EV-DO, and one TD SCDMA.

Based on the contract award activity over the past few quarters, In-Stat expects most of the deployments through new live networks to be WiMAX and HSPA having seen a significant slowdown in contracts for WCDMA and CDMA EV-DO equipment.

The research firm projects that 3G and 4G subscriptions will reach 30 percent of the total number of wireless subscriptions by the end of 2013. This compares to 11 percent (3G) by the end of 2008.

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