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WiMAX Equipment Rapid Growth Forecast

The WiMAX market is heating up quickly, with worldwide sales of fixed and mobile WiMAX equipment up 6 percent in 3Q07 to $206 million following a 14 percent jump in 2Q07, according to Infonetics Research.

Worldwide unit shipments of fixed and mobile WiMAX equipment are up 16 percent in 3Q07, driven by continued rollout of new fixed and mobile WiMAX networks, and further expansion of those already in operation, the report shows.

In addition to Sprint-Nextel's much-publicized rollout, carriers including Vodafone, Brasil Telecom, Telmex, SK Telecom, Wateen, and NTT, amongst many others, have made a commitment to WiMAX, demonstrating that adoption is reaching all corners of the globe.

Also this quarter, the ITU added mobile WiMAX as an approved 3G technology into its official IMT-2000 set of standards, consolidating WiMAX's position as a technology with a long-term future and posing a more serious challenge to W-CDMA and CDMA2000 1xEV-DO network deployments.

Add in Cisco's entrance into the WiMAX market with its judicious acquisition of Navini, and the market is poised for big growth in 2008.

Other highlights from the Infonetics report include:

- Manufacturer revenue for fixed and mobile WiMAX equipment is forecast to grow at a 5-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 87 percent between 2006 and 2010.

- The number of worldwide WiMAX subscribers (fixed and mobile) is expected to skyrocket to close to 60 million in 2010, led by the Asia Pacific region.

- Unit shipments for access service network (ASN) gateways, which aggregate traffic from mobile WiMAX base stations, jumped 36 percent quarter over quarter.

- Alvarion continues to lead in fixed WiMAX equipment revenue share in 3Q07, followed by Airspan, then Aperto Networks.

- Outdoor mesh network access node shipments are up 7 percent worldwide in 3Q07 -- but revenue is flat.

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