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WiMAX Subscribers Have High Expectations

WiMAX operators are departing from the current cellular phone device model, according to Senza Fili Consulting. Operators are pushing vendors to provide powerful, interoperable, and affordable devices that give subscribers the freedom to choose, plus the ability to effortlessly register them to any network.

"WiMAX operators are exerting substantial pressure on vendors to ensure that they have the devices they need, at the right price, supporting the applications and features that subscribers demand," said Monica Paolini, Senza Fili Consulting.

At the same time, operators are preparing their networks to host a wide range of mobile devices that support multiple wireless interfaces, frequencies and form factors.

Based on data from a recent WiMAX Forum survey, the report shows that operators are piecing together a wise, carefully planned device strategy that will enable them to offer core services at launch and expand the subscriber choice to a wide range of innovative services.

To succeed, this retail model requires out-of-the-box interoperability among vendors and certified network equipment and user devices.

"The data collected in this survey clearly demonstrates the need for WiMAX Forum certification of subscriber devices," said XJ Wang, Sr. Director of Marketing at WiMAX Forum. "The interoperability benefit that the certification process provides allows operators to completely revolutionize their device distribution model from the outdated cellular model, to a new model for broadband wireless Internet."

The survey also revealed a great interest in roaming and multi-mode devices. In particular, WiMAX operators expect WiMAX devices to support complementary 2G/3G GSM and Wi-Fi interfaces.

"WiMAX operators need to ensure seamless service and a great user experience from day one," said Paolini. "WiMAX subscribers have high expectations, and initial data shows that they are heavy users. They expect all the reliability and coverage footprint of 2G/3G services, but with the speed and freedom that WiMAX brings to the table."

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