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WiMAX services will have 47m subscribers by 2013

Juniper Research reports that WiMAX services will reach 47 million subscribers in the next five years

Juniper Research is predicting that up to 12% of the global DSL installed base will switch to WiMAX 802.16e in the next five years.

According to the analyst company, 47 million subscribers will be connected to WiMAX by 2013, with the market for end user devices - CPE, chipsets, minicards and USB dongles - reaching $6 billion.

Fixed broadband services will lead the initial uptake of WiMAX services, in under served areas in both developed and developing countries, although mobile services will make up the majority of subscriptions by 2013.

Report author Howard Wilcox said: "WiMAX will be an attractive offer in areas where there are no wired networks, and in areas where the existing DSL speed is suboptimal. WiMAX will solve the broadband access problem for users located at the fringes of DSL coverage. This is in fact the case in a number of developed nations such as UK, USA, Ireland and Scandinavia, and WiMAX network operators are deploying networks to address this market need. Additionally in developing countries - such as India - network operators are aiming to provide basic connectivity."

Juniper says that the Far East will lead the market, with over one fifth of all subscribers, which, along with Europe and North America, will account for 60% of all annual WiMAX services revenue - revenue which will be worth $20 billion.

New WiMAX operators may struggle to build brand against existing broadband service providers, Wilcox warned.

"Brand identification and service differentiation are major marketing challenges facing new WiMAX operators. Many of the existing broadband providers are household names that already have widespread market presence and recognition. WiMAX operators will need to identify and promote their USPs, whilst avoiding entering the market on the basis of price," Wilcox said.