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WiMAX Drives the Last Mile
Posted: 25-May-2005 [Source: Strategy Analytics]

[Strategy Analytics predicts 20 million WiMAX subscriber terminals and base stations per year in 2009.]

London -- Strategy Analytics predicts a market of more than 20 million WiMAX subscriber terminals and base stations per year in 2009, according to "WiMAX - 3G Killer or Fixed Broadband Wireless Standard?" The need for inexpensive last mile connections between users and high-speed backbone networks already deployed in the developing world will drive this demand. Although much smaller than the market for cellular terminals and base stations in terms of annual unit shipments, WiMAX will represent a significant opportunity for chip makers.

This Strategy Analytics report reconciles the polarized views on the probable success of WiMAX by reviewing applications, number of potential subscribers and economics. The report also presents a comparison of WiMAX to competing methods for delivery of broadband services and content, such as T-1 cable and DSL.

According to Chris Taylor, Director of the Strategy Analytics RF & Wireless Component Service (RFWC), "Our analysis of provisioning costs, business models and demand leads us to conclude that WiMAX for fixed wireless broadband services alone will generate a modest but healthy market for chips and equipment by 2009. Major concerns still remain regarding battery life for mobile WiMAX, undefined mobile specifications, and probable competition with 3G and proposed 4G networks. However, these issues will not prevent WiMAX from reaching sustainable volume in fixed applications.

"Although most of the attention in the media has centered on SoCs (system on chip ICs) and configurable baseband processors," Mr. Taylor continued, "WiMAX should create a significant opportunity for makers of power amplifiers and front end radio modules. The challenge for front end component makers will be to identify the largest regional markets and bands, win design-ins, and then begin to broaden product lines to cover additional segments of the WiMAX market, each of which will require front-end components with somewhat different specifications."

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