A newly released study by Juniper Research forecasts that the total number of Mobile WiMAX subscribers will grow from 1.7m in 2007 to 21.3m in 2012 - following the initial release of certified equipment planned for early 2007.
The report forecasts a higher growth in developing regions where operators are looking at leapfrogging 3G and adopting OFDMA based Mobile WiMAX standards. Developed regions like South Korea and Japan are expected to see a reduced adoption rate towards 2010 due to the markets reaching saturation in terms of mobile penetration.
Due to the ability of Mobile WiMAX to serve mobile as well as fixed wireless subscribers, Juniper Research believes that Mobile WiMAX will be adopted across both markets.
Other highlights and findings of the report include:
* The global market for Mobile WiMAX equipment including base stations and CPE equipment is estimated to reach $2.53bn by 2012.
* Juniper Research predicts that Mobile WiMAX services will be primarily data driven and that the voice services market will be less than 10% of the total Mobile WiMAX services market in 2012
* North America will be one of the largest markets for Mobile WiMAX voice services and is expected to make up 32% of the total worldwide market in 2012.
* Juniper Research have identified a greater interest amongst OEMs in a dual mode WiMAX - WiFi product rather than a dual mode WiMAX - 3G solution.
* Fixed Internet providers are more comfortable with using Mobile WiMAX as a fixed wireless solution rather than competing with incumbent mobile carriers
The author of the report, Aditya Kaul adds, "Mobile WiMAX has transitioned from being a hyped technology to being a ratified standard with a realistic certification timeline. Apart from it being a cheaper alternative to 3G, the litmus test of Mobile WiMAX lies in the upcoming operator trials that would establish its performance in the real world."
The report specifically looks at the need for mobility, the emergence of anytime, anyplace broadband, also known as personal broadband and how Mobile WiMAX fits in with the personal broadband concept.