Mobile handsets key to the success of WiMAX
A new research from ABI Research has shown that there were more than 170 802.16e 4G carriers across 65 countries, covering 480 million people at the end of 2009, the number that is projected to cross the 1 billion mark by fourth quarter of 2012.
The research firm said that mobile handsets will be essential to the success of WiMAX, though USB dongles have been an excellent vehicle to prime the market along with CPE and laptops. Yota, Sprint, and Clearwire have already started beefing up their lineups with models from HTC and Samsung.
According to the study, twenty carriers will launch by fourth quarter of 2010, with population coverage of WiMAX projected to reach 600 million people by 4Q-2012. LTE coverage will start in urban hotspots, with carriers indicating that they will push coverage rapidly in order to handle the increasing mobile data wave.
The firm expects 4G market to see 150 million subscriptions by 4Q-2014. The split between WiMAX and LTE will depend on WiMAX carrier commitments to upgrade to 802.16m.
Philip Solis, practice director at ABI Research, said: “Some WiMAX service providers may switch from WiMAX to TD-LTE, but others are doing this partly as insurance and partly to assure investors of an alternate path so they may go forward with WiMAX.
“This is something for smaller greenfield service providers to consider. Large mobile operators will move forward with LTE whether it be on FDD or TDD spectrum. Clearwire can do both WiMAX and LTE if it wants to since it has the spectrum to do so.”