The percentage of 3G and 4G wireless subscriptions will nearly triple by 2013, according to research from In-Stat. At the end of 2008, only 11 percent of worldwide wireless subscriptions were 3G. The research firm expects that number to hit 30 percent by the end of 2013.The trend is reflected in wireless infrastructure contracts issued in the fourth quarter of 2008. “Based on contract awards, WiMAX deployments are remaining resilient in the face of the economic slowdown, although some operators are slowing the deployment rate,” says Daryl Schoolar, In-Stat analyst. “The WiMAX equipment heavyweights of Alcatel-Lucent, Alvarion, Motorola and Samsung are benefiting from the trend. Other vendors to watch include Cisco, Huawei and ZTE.”
Still, WiMAX faces competition from HSPA and LTE. Mobile WiMAX is attractive in developing countries and remote locations lacking fixed broadband networks. It is unclear whether mobile WiMAX will be competitive in areas with existing 3G and fixed broadband networks.
The report found 132 announced deployments in the fourth quarter, consisting of 95 HSPA, 18 W-CDMA, 12 mobile WiMAX, six CDMA EV-DO and one TD SCDMA. Based on the contract award activity over the past few quarters, the firm expects most of the deployments through new live networks to be WiMAX and HSPA with a significant slowdown in contracts for W-CDMA and CDMA EV-DO equipment.
802.16e, the mobile standard for WiMAX, has been mainly deployed for fixed and nomadic services, says In-Stat. Clearwire, Korea Telecom and UQ of Japan are using 802.16e for mobile data applications.
Filed Under: Infrastructure