Technology | Media | Telecommunications

Monday, March 02, 2009

WiMAX Leads as LTE Trails in the 4G Race

Mobile WiMAX will outpace LTE based wireless broadband networks over the next few years due to its head start on deployments, according to the latest market study by In-Stat.

Mobile WiMAX already has commercial deployments, while LTE won't be commercially available until late 2009 -- or even later. However In-Stat believes WiMAX and LTE will take very different paths.

"Most of the operators looking to deploy WiMAX come to it from the fixed network space. These operators are looking to use WiMAX as an enhanced DSL service. Enhanced DSL will combine both the fixed broadband service with some form of nomadic coverage," says Daryl Schoolar, In-Stat analyst.

Most of the early operators supporting LTE come from the mobile space. These operators want to use LTE to increase capacity and peak rates on their existing mobile networks.

In-Stat's market study found the following:

- HSPA may turn into 802.16e WiMAX's true competitor, with HSPA Evolved allowing WCDMA operators to delay deploying LTE.

- Verizon is at the forefront with LTE, most operators will not deploy until 2011 or 2012.

- In-Stat expects LTE will have 23.1 million subscriptions in 2013, growing from about 176 thousand in 2010.

- Nearly 82 million mobile PCs with WiMax will ship in 2013.