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WiMAX posts record growth rate in Q2

Posted: 14 Sep 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:WiMAX? Long Term Evolution? 3G? W-CDMA?

Starting from a small base, WiMAX posted the highest rate of growth of all wireless access technologies for Q2 09, according to ABI Research. "WiMAX achieved a whopping 74 percent growth compared to the previous quarter," says Jake Saunders, VP for forecasting at ABI Research. "The installed base of WiMAX stood at a little over three million subscriptions, but it is a sign that the battle for the 4G market is not an automatic victory for LTE (Long Term Evolution)."

Both 802.16d and 802.16e are included in these statistics, to represent the total base of WiMAX subscribers, since many 802.16d networks will eventually be changed to 802.16e, even if they are mostly used for fixed services.

LTE subscriptions will start to trickle in during the second to third quarter of 2010. NTT Docomo had hoped to commence commercial LTE in 2009 but has since postponed its launch to 2010.

Mobile broadband subscriptions are taking off. ABI estimates there will be more than 240 million subscribers by the end of 2009. By 2014, that figure could surpass 1.2 billion.

Mobile data traffic is burgeoning. Early in 2009 mobile operators started to ramp up W-CDMA 3G infrastructure equipment purchases dramatically to ensure sufficient network capacity to meet demand. 3G subscriptions secured 25 percent of the global subscription market with almost 910 million.

LTE and WiMAX generate high expectations but meanwhile HSPA has notched up almost 160 million subscriptions. While Edge may not have the allure of 3G or 4G, carriers are relying on it to deliver mobile Internet and messaging services where 3G coverage is inadequate. In Q2 09 there were approximately 375 million Edge subscribers.

Growth rates were depressed on a regional basis around the world for 1H 09 but ABI Research anticipates there will be a steady recovery in subscriber adoption which should provide carriers with a much-needed boost in Q4 09 and in 2010. Total subscriptions surpassed 4.15 billion in Q2 09.





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