Competition between Mobile and Fixed WiMAX over the next five years is set to escalate - according to Juniper Research - with the expected release of the first certified products for Mobile WiMAX, seeing it grow from 1.7m subscribers in 2007 to 21.3m by 2012.
Juniper Research's latest Mobile WiMAX report - considering opportunities, strategies and forecasts from 2007-2012 - heralds in the initial wave of certified products being released into the market; Products at the moment limited to providing fixed wireless access alone.
Juniper highlights a continuing evolution in WiMAX technology culminating in two ratified standards, providing strong prospects for both fixed and mobile access. However the development of two seemingly complimentary services invariably raises the spectre of competitive exclusion and erosion in popularity of Fixed WiMAX in favour of Mobile WiMAX.
An affect anticipated by Senior Analyst, Aditya Kaul, who states "Although Fixed and Mobile WiMAX were developed with a complimentary eye to serving different markets, the services they offer will inevitably become intertwined, creating complimentary as well as competing solutions -- depending on the user environment."
As a result, Juniper suggests a definite transferal of Fixed WiMAX subscribers to Mobile WiMAX in the coming years with an initial adoption of 1.7m Mobile WiMAX by 2007 subscribers expected to reach 21.3m subscribers by 2012.
"And with leading 3G equipment vendors like Nokia, Ericsson, Nortel and Siemens treating Mobile WiMAX as complimentary to 3G, this will prove to be a significant driver for the market," Aditya adds.
"We should also keep in mind that WiMAX has been designed as a cheaper alternative to 3G. Therefore it is unsurprising that the global market for Mobile WiMAX equipment including base stations and CPE equipment is set to reach $2.53bn by 2012."
"Mobile WiMAX has transitioned from being a hyped technology to a ratified standard with a realistic certification timeline [due to begin in Q4 2006]. The litmus test however will lie in the upcoming operator trials to establish its performance in the real world."