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WiMAX and Outdoor Mesh Network Equipment

Mobile WiMAX equipment, which just started shipping enough product in the previous quarter to be appreciably counted, increased 35 percent in the first quarter of 2007, says Infonetics Research in its latest market study.

The small but fast growing outdoor wireless mesh access node segment is also posed for strong long-term growth, although worldwide revenue dipped 2 percent to $120.1 million in 1Q07 from 4Q06. Meanwhile, after jumping 39 percent in 4Q06, the worldwide fixed WiMAX equipment market dropped 40 percent in 1Q07.

"The fixed WiMAX market could be inhibited by the launch of mobile WiMAX, but fixed remains viable where connectivity needs outweigh mobility needs, so this is just a growth blip following a strong previous quarter," said Richard Webb, wireless broadband analyst for Infonetics Research.

"The mobile WiMAX ecosystem of components, equipment, handsets, and service providers is not yet fully realized and will take time, but we expect healthy growth. The key to a long-term future for these markets, including wireless mesh, will depend on how well these technologies work together with high speed cellular services in a multi-technology wireless environment."

Infonetics market study highlights include:

- The worldwide WiMAX equipment market (including fixed and mobile) is forecast to grow at a 5-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 70 percent between 2006 and 2010.

- In 1Q07, Alvarion leads in fixed WiMAX equipment revenue share, followed by Airspan.

- Tropos Networks is ahead of Strix Systems in the battle for leadership in outdoor mesh equipment revenue in 1Q07, while Motorola moves up to 3rd.

- 35 percent of all fixed WiMAX equipment revenue came from Asia Pacific in 1Q07, 33 percent from EMEA, 18 percent from North America, and 14 percent from CALA.

- North America will lose share as the other markets gain share over the next few years.

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