WiMAX success depends on device compatability

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More than 80 million subscribers could be surfing the net using mobile WiMAX within the next five years, though growth could be hampered by a lack of compatible devices, according to a recent report..

The Juniper Research report predicts that Mobile WiMAX 802.16e will see rapid uptake after 2010, potentially connecting more than 80 million mobile subscribers world wide by 2013.

“We are seeing more and more Mobile WiMAX 802.16e trials and network contracts – over 50 have been announced so far in 2007 alone: the market is very active in all regions of the world,” said report author Howard Wilcox.

“We anticipate that mobile usage will develop after initial demand for fixed and portable services – WiMAX 802.16e is a flexible platform that can operate in all three modes of usage.”

According to the report the global value of Mobile WiMAX service revenues will grow to over US$23 billion per annum by 2013, with heavy demand from the USA, Japan and S. Korea.

The arrival of very low cost laptops and broadband-capable portable handsets and games consoles could fuel demand for Mobile WiMAX technology, according to the study. Lack of device availability and service differentiation, however, could stymie progress.

“The twin challenges are for vendors to produce the right devices at the right time and price, and for Mobile WiMAX service providers to differentiate their offerings from existing mobile operators. Success in these challenges will accelerate market development,” added Wilcox.
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