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Proprietary fixed wireless broadband gains speed while support for WiMAX builds

19 May 2004 News Mining (Industry)

Recent announcements have indicated that two large European mobile equipment makers - Siemens and Alcatel - have pledged to produce equipment compatible with the 802.16 standard, also known as WiMAX. As providers of mobile infrastructure, Alcatel and Siemens have a long history of providing equipment to large multinational carriers, and their recent announcements will bolster the WiMAX cause.

Technology market research firm, ABI Research, has long stated that support from both large carriers and large diversified equipment manufacturers will be required if the WiMAX industry is to achieve $1 billion in annual revenue by 2009. While many vendors have pledged support for WiMAX, it says that operators' plans for the technology remains guarded though actual spending on proprietary technologies surges.

Full-scale deployment for WiMAX hinges on the availability of the Intel chipset, which, in volumes, makes for lower cost equipment. Initial chipset production quantities are expected in late 2004, with equipment available towards the middle of 2005. As vendors await the lower cost chips, ABI says that demand for proprietary systems is set to grow by about 50% from 2003 to 2004, in unit terms. Early indications are showing growth across the board, but most typically in regions outside North America and Europe, it states.

"With equipment prices comparable or sometimes cheaper to those initially promised by WiMAX, the market for these technologies is growing at an incredibly fast clip," remarks Edward Rerisi of ABI Research. "However, in the end, WiMAX is poised to win, eclipsing spending on proprietary technologies by the decade's end."

"Support for WiMAX among manufacturers large and small is building and driving demand away from some 3G and Wi-Fi applications, but the primary market will be the 'sweet spot' between the speed of Wi-Fi and the range of a cellular base station. In the end, the largest threat is to the demand for landlines, not 3G or Wi-Fi," he concludes.

For more information see www.abiresearch.com/reports/LMW.html





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