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Mobile WiMAX Leads the Equipment Market

According to Infonetics Research, the worldwide WiMAX equipment market, including fixed and mobile WiMAX equipment, increased 59 percent sequentially to $363 million in 1Q08.

Infonetics' latest report indicates the surge in the market was led by especially strong mobile WiMAX (802.16e) equipment sales, which jumped 141 percent this quarter to overtake revenue from fixed WiMAX (802.16d) equipment for the first time.

"A significant number of new mobile WiMAX networks began rollout in the first quarter, and existing networks continued to scale up, driving sales in 1Q08. We expect healthy growth for the evolving mobile WiMAX market, which is seeing strong adoption from Tier 2 and 3 carriers." said Richard Webb, wireless analyst for Infonetics Research.

Also, growth came from Tier 1 nationwide operators as well, like Sprint-Clearwire in the U.S., SK Telecom and KT in South Korea, Wateen in Pakistan, BSNL in India, and Vodafone and Orange in new territories.

Highlights from the Infonetics report include:

- The nascent mobile WiMAX phone and Ultra Mobile PC segments showed early traction, together increasing 171 percent sequentially in 1Q08; these devices have appealing, non-traditional form factors and capabilities and will play a major role in attracting new subscribers to mobile WiMAX networks.

- The number of fixed and mobile WiMAX subscribers topped 2 million worldwide in 2007 and is expected to triple by the end of 2008.

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