Feature Article

August 22, 2011

WiMAX Subscriptions Cross 20 Million Globally

The WiMAX Forum has announced that more than 20 million global subscribers are now using the WiMAX technology.

Breaking the one million subscriber mark in June, UQ Communications of Japan doubled its subscriber base in the first half of 2011. Also in Asia Pacific, new Malaysian WiMAX operator YTL, which just launched WiMAX services in November of 2010, had netted over 300,000 subscribers by June. UQ and YTL signed a MoU to develop a pan-Pacific WiMAX hotzone, at an event in July, in which UQ Communications hosted the first public field trial of WiMAX 2.

“With over $500 million spent in the first quarter of 2011 on WiMAX RAN equipment alone, WiMAX technology is continuing to attract operators interested in bringing broadband internet to their customers immediately,” said Ron Resnick, president and chairman of the WiMAX Forum. “Consumers easily recognize the value of 4G services, and the entire industry is benefiting through strong subscriber growth and equipment and device sales.”

With 7.65 million total subscribers, up 365 percent from 2Q 2010, Clearwire just announced that it ended the second quarter of 2011. Clearwire also again increased its guidance to an expected 10 million subscribers by the end of 2011. While Mexican WiMAX operator AXTEL increased its WiMAX subscriber base by over 80 percent to over 332,000, Jamaican operator Digicel leveraged its WiMAX network to capture 25 percent of the local broadband market in less than a year in the Americas, the company stated in a press release.

Three years ago, the forum stated that internet via WiMAX may soon be a reality. With a population of 550 million, broadband penetration is below 15 percent. Lack of wired infrastructure, low broadband penetration and the numerous WiMAX license opportunities has all played a role in creating an attractive future for the WiMAX market in Latin America. WiMAX offers a better solution to quickly reach a large number of end users saving the investment in cost and time.

Want to learn more about 4G wireless technologies? Then be sure to attend the 4GWE Conference, collocated with TMC’s ITEXPO West 2011, taking place Sept. 13-15, 2011, in Austin, Texas. The 4GWE Conference provides unmatched networking opportunities and a robust conference program representing the wireless ecosystem. The conference not only brings together the best and brightest in the wireless industry, it actually spans the communications and technology industry. To register, click here.

Raju Shanbhag is a contributing editor for MobilityTechzone. To read more of Raju’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

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