WiMAX Growth Up Again

Time to yap about WiMAX. Yes, I know… what’s new this time?

Frankly, I am getting bored with all the mixed reports coming out about WiMAX by various analysts; we read one report saying WiMAX going down… the next day, we read another report saying WiMAX growth on the rise. I am just going to blog about it as each report released and leave it up to you guys  to make your own conclusion. Your input is of  course greatly appreciated in the comment section below.

It was just last month, In-Stat reported WiMAX could be in for some challenges as competing technologies like LTE begin coming to market. Maravedis also expressed similar concerns, noted that its research has shown carriers are concerned about the lack of support for the 802.16m standard, which could dampen enthusiasm for greater WiMAX deployments.

This month, it is Visant Strategies who is up on WiMAX. They have been covering the wireless industry since the mid 80’s. The firm noted in their recent report that new specifications for the technology and overall growth in fixed/portable WiMAX deployments around the world are creating a “sizable” market for WiMAX equipment for the next 10 years. This is pretty good News for Clearwire and Sprint who has been pouring boat load of $$$ into the technology during the past couple of years.

Visant Strategies noted in its report, “Fixed, portable and mobile WiMAX: Building a market today and influencing choices tomorrow,” that new specification for 802.16m, also known as mobile WiMAX, will address a number of shortcomings with the 802.16e WiMAX standard, including improving costs and providing a more appealing business model.

“Most mobile carriers have committed to LTE for 4G, sometimes after HSPA+, but WiMAX equipment makers will still enjoy a vigorous market” said Andy Fuertes of Visant Strategies. “Low-cost PC initiatives, falling WiMAX costs and the global availability of the 3.5 GHz band for basic fixed broadband services presents a very large opportunity for WiMAX equipment vendors.”


Visant forecasts that WiMAX equipment revenues will surge to more than $35 billion by 2016 fueled by mobile WiMAX subscriber growth increase more than eight times current levels to more than 1 billion customers worldwide.

“There will be a very large fixed broadband audience by 2016, over one billion according to the findings in the report, and fixed/portable WiMAX will account for a good share of this audience and help seed mobile WiMAX use as these same carriers expand their coverage area in many emerging regions,” said Larry Swasey of Visant Strategies. “We are already seeing WiMAX deployments in emerging economies that allow intra- and inter-city portability, the beginning of the seeding.”

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About Elias Shams
I have been a serial entrepreneur in telecom and social media space for past 12 years or so. I hold a M.S. degree in Telecommunication Engineering from the George Washington University and a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland. I’ve lived and worked in many countries and cities including London England, Tehran Iran, Bonn Germany, Paris France, Alicante Spain, Delhi India, and my favorite of all Washington, DC of great US of A. Two of the greatest Washington, DC based companies I worked for and very proud of are Yurie Systems which was sold to Lucent in 1998 for $1.23 B and telezoo.com that I founded in 1999. I am currently the founder and awesomizer @ awesomize.me

5 Responses to WiMAX Growth Up Again

  1. Ruchir Godura says:

    Actually it is not that complicated. There is a large market for fixed broadband access that exists in the developing world where copper lines are scarce. A wireless system is required to bridge this infrastructure gap. While it could be done using either LTE or WiMAX, what is clear is that the same network in the same frequency band cannot do both ubiquitous mobile service and fixed broadband service at the same time. The reason is that on a $/bit delivered, fixed broadband costs are typically 1/5 to 1/10 of mobile data costs. So while it is pretty much clear that some version of LTE (700/1900/2300/2600, TDD/FDD) will be used across the world as the 4G mobile standard, the space for providing fixed wireless broadband is still up for grabs. Since global mobile roaming and harmonization is not as critical for fixed applications, WiMAX is fairly appropriate here if only for the reason that it exists today in a very mature form with a low cost ecosystem.

    • Tian Eng GAN says:

      WiMAX vs LTE … it’s not the technology that wins but the politics .. of money. The service providers which pay the big bucks will determine the popularity of the technology.

    • Hassan Naqvi says:

      I totally agree with Tian. Both the technologies are almost the same. Even LTE can and will operate on WiMAX frequency band. This means indoor penetration will also be the same. Now, its only the politics that will drive the success or failure. I have my votes for WiMAX.

  2. Mick Jones says:

    I was asked this very question a few years ago when we were in the planning stages of our network. I chose to go with Wi-Max mainly due to cost, equipment availability and the fact that it has had a 2+ year head start on LTE. The format has been proven, the “bugs” worked out, Wi-Max has been vetted extensively. Now, Tian is correct that politics and $$$ will determine who uses what format, they are almost the same, can operate in the same frequency bands, it will come politics and funding.

    Remember 15 years ago here in America, the battle between TDMA, CDMA & GSM. We can only learn from history, the answer is there.

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