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All Change for the WiMAX Supplier Industry?
Posted: 27-Jul-2007 [Source: IMS Research]

[IMS Research study looks at the evolution of WiMAX from 802.16d to 802.16e and the new suppliers poised to challenge the dominant BWA players.]

Wellingborough, U.K. -- Starting with infrastructure, a market with its legacy in proprietary Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) has led to an 802.16d supplier industry dominated by those strong in BWA, namely: Alvarion, Airspan, Redline and Aperto. However, the WiMAX market will quickly move to 802.16e and mobile WiMAX; here suppliers of traditional cellular infrastructure are well equipped to serve. Expect companies such as Motorola, Alcatel-Lucent, Nokia Siemens Networks and Nortel Networks all to challenge the above.

Considering CPEs, again WiMAX's roots in BWA, where CPE and infrastructure are supplied by the same manufacturer, has resulted in the same companies (Alvarion, Airspan, Aperto & Redline) dominating the market. However, for mobile & nomadic WiMAX really to take off, a large and independent CPE supplier industry is required. This means that the dominant CPE suppliers of the future may well be the leading handset suppliers. This includes companies such as Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Motorola, Samsung and LG. In addition, those dominating laptop PC supply (such as Dell, HP, Lenovo and Acer) and those dominating residential gateway supply (such as Linksys, D-Link, Thomson, Netgear, Belkin, Scientific Atlanta and Arris) are also well positioned to be leading WiMAX CPE suppliers.

Considering ICs, with the exception of Intel and Fujitsu, the companies that have made significant in-roads to date are predominantly WiMAX-focused start-ups such as Beceem, Sequans, Runcom and Wavesat Wireless. As the WiMAX IC market has started to ramp up the leading traditional wireless IC suppliers have entered the market, for example NXP and Infineon on the RF side. This trend is set to continue with the leading cellular IC suppliers, such as the above, TI, MediaTek and Analog Devices, and the leading WiFi IC suppliers, such as Intel, Marvel, Atheros, Broadcom, Airgo and Conexant, being the best candidates for WiMAX leadership. This is likely even though many have yet to signal their intent to enter the market.

All this does not mean that today's market winners, will not be winners tomorrow. They will just have to fight for their position. These developments in the WiMAX industry are discussed in depth in IMS' just-published report "The Worldwide Market for WiMAX & Competing Products 2007 Edition."

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