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The Developing Countries Embrace WiMAX

Although relatively small, the WiMAX equipment market surged in the first quarter of 2006, with revenue jumping 48 percent, to $68.3 million, according to Infonetics Research. Annual revenue is forecast to reach $1.7 billion by 2009.

The increases are mostly due to mounting shipments of WiMAX CPE units, indicating service providers with WiMAX networks are driving subscriber growth. Swells in the WiMAX market are forecast to continue as WiMAX evolves from a fixed-only solution to both a fixed and mobile solution.

"In 2007, we expect mobile WiMAX (802.16e) products to reach the market, generating a spike in growth in the overall WiMAX market," said Richard Webb, analyst at Infonetics Research. "After that, WiMAX will become an established technology offered by most major mobile network equipment vendors as a complementary technology to 3G, mesh, and WiFi networks. From late 2007, 802.16e PCs should be available, at which point 802.16e base stations will likely start outselling 802.16d products."

1Q06 Highlights:

- 62 percent of total WiMAX revenue comes from CPE, 38 percent from base stations; by 2009 this shifts to 79 percent and 21 percent respectively.
- Worldwide outdoor wireless mesh access node revenue increased 22 percent to $46 million and unit shipments increased 25 percent.
- 30 percent of WiMAX equipment comes from EMEA, 26 percent from North America, 26 percent from Asia Pacific, and 18 percent from CALA; deployments in EMEA are mostly in Eastern Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, indicating that the strong early market for WiMAX is in developing countries.

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