WiMAX technology is entering a rapid growth phase, as service providers are now able to buy WiMAX Forum-certified equipment, reports In-Stat. Worldwide subscribers are estimated to reach 222,000 in 2006 and are forecasted to grow to 19.7 million by the end of 2010, the high-tech market research firm says. Most of those subscribers are in the Asia/Pacific region. Almost all subscribers are using a fixed service today, with the exception of those in South Korea.
"While WiMAX faces many challenges, the biggest challenge still comes from competing technologies and services," says Daryl Schoolar, In-Stat analyst. "WiMAX will have difficulty competing in areas that already have established broadband services. WiMAX will need to provide a demonstratively superior service to win customers from the incumbent provider. Much of WiMAX's early success will come from under-developed regions of the globe."
Recent research by In-Stat found the following:
* With Sprint being the exception, In-Stat does not believe most 3G carriers will deploy WiMAX in the near term.
* Alvarion had the largest share of WiMAX equipment revenue during the first half of 2006.
* In-Stat expects sales in 802.16e equipment to quickly overtake those in 802.16d.
* Regulatory uncertainty and spectrum availability continue to hamper the growth of WiMAX.
The research, "WiMAX: 2006 State of the Market", covers the worldwide market for WiMAX. It includes vendor market share for revenues and shipments through the first half of 2006. It also provides a five-year forecast for infrastructure and embedded mobile devices. Worldwide subscriber forecasts are segmented by region.