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WiMAX devt faces barriers in China

Posted: 21 Dec 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:WiMAX? 3G? In-Stat? circuit switching? packet switching?

Despite a flourishing opportunity to service over 3 million China subscribers with fixed, portable and mobile broadband access, several factors may hinder WiMAX development in the region, according to research firm In-Stat.

These barriers, according to the WiMAX Market in China: The Next PHS report, include immature 802.16e products, competition from 3G as well as uncertain spectrum allocation. Hence, In-Stat reveals that equipment and subscriber forecasts will depend on how the industry deals with the issues.

"WiMAX does have many advantages in cost, flexibility and deployment convenience," said Kevin Li, In-Stat analyst. "WiMAX is a data network access technology, which means no circuit switching (CS) domain is required, whereas 3G, the alternative technology, is divided into CS and packet switching domains, which carry voice and data, respectively."

From 8,000 subscribers in 2005, In-Stat says that the WiMAX subscriber base in China will hit 3.53 million by 2010, in an aggressive scenario. The research firm reports that even in a conservative outlook, China's WiMAX subscriber base will grow to 1.23 million in the same period.

Early this year, China Netcom began deploying WiMAX 802.16-2004 systemsat 3.5GHzfor fixed wireless access in Guangdong. The voice and data access was aimed at SMBs and the residential market.

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