WiMax market set to reach US$3.5 billion by 2010

The upcoming wireless broadband technology will account for 4% of all global broadband usage by the end of the decade, according Idate research.

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By  Alex Ritman Published  October 12, 2005

By 2010, the global WiMax market is predicted to hit US$3.5 billion, according to a report published by France-based consultancy organisation Idate. The research, entitled “WiMax: Ready for Deployment?” predicts that by the end of the decade the upcoming wireless broadband technology will account for 4% of all broadband usage. The report claims that delays in allocations and licensing by regulatory agencies, coupled with a lack of a common worldwide frequency band for WiMax use could slow market development. WiMax has been divided into fixed and mobile varieties for standardising by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering (IEEE), with the fixed version, otherwise known as 802.16d having already been ratified. However, Noel Kirkaldy, EMEA wireless broadband manager at Motorola, believes that the standardising of the mobile variety, 802.16e of WiMax has practically been completed, and it is just a clerical issue holding it up. UAE incumbent Etisalat is hoping to have a commercial WiMax deployment of either ‘D’ or ‘E’ technology by mid 2006. The operator’s general manager of network system, Saleh Al Abdooli confirms that a trial is currently underway in Abu Dhabi using ‘D’ equipment, but that vendors for the ‘E’ trial will be announced by the end of 2005. “We have put out a request for information to international manufacturers Motorola, Alcatel, Huawei, ZTE, Samsung and Ericsson,” says Al Abdooli. He says that Etisalat will choose to deploy either ‘E’ or ‘D’ technology on the basis of these trials, to take place in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. But for Motorola’s Kirkaldy there is no point considering ‘D’. “Literally we’re looking at one quarter between ‘D’ equipment coming through and ‘E’ equipment becoming available.” He says that because of the finite timing between the two, most of the major suppliers are “willing to bet the farm on ‘E’, rather than a ‘D’ interim”. Kirkaldy claims that Motorola will have equipment based on a pre-standardised version of ‘E’ out by the second quarter of 2006.

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