Technology | Media | Telecommunications

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Subs Want More from Wireless Broadband

Wireless broadband in all its forms -- fixed, portable, and mobile -- gives service providers a way to grow revenues as voice revenue growth slows, according to the latest market study by In-Stat.

Based on survey data collected by the high-tech market research firm, WiMAX provides the right mix of features and pricing to appeal to consumer subscribers.

Business users on the other hand will provide more of a challenge to WiMAX operators, primarily based on the business users need for ubiquitous coverage.

"While early WiMAX network coverage will not be as large as 3G cellular, it will be adequate to appeal to consumers," says Daryl Schoolar, In-Stat analyst.

When respondents were presented with service examples and picked the one they most preferred, the one representing WiMAX was picked more than two-to-one over the one representing 3G cellular data. Service descriptions include information on coverage, network performance, pricing, and usage limitations.

The research covers the U.S. market for wireless broadband. It provides analysis of two surveys of U.S. wireless subscribers conducted in April 2008 covering their preferences regarding wireless broadband services. The resulting report includes advice for operators on how to market these services.

In-Stat's market study found the following:

- Respondents are very interested in a wireless broadband service that will allow them to connect multiple devices under a single service plan.

- Respondents want a service that can meet both their at home and away Internet needs.

- Fixed broadband operators are vulnerable to losing subscribers to WiMAX.

- Survey respondents reported increased usage of public wireless broadband between 2006 and 2007, with expectations for further increases in 2008.