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April 27, 2011

Shipment of Mobile WiMAX Chipset Touched 15 Million in 2010: Report

By Rajani Baburajan
TMCnet Contributor

Shipments of mobile Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access (WiMAX) chipsets touched 15 million in 2010, up from 5 million in 2009, according to the 4Ggear Quarterly Report from Maravedis (News - Alert).

“The 2010 surge in mobile WiMAX device and chipset shipments, the total WiMAX chipset market is partly the result of the addition of 7.7 million WiMAX (News - Alert) subscribers during the year,” said Vikram Krishnamurthy, author of the report, in a statement.

Maravedis forecasts that the shipments of WiMAX devices increased in 2010 but will be affected by WiMAX carriers planning a move to LTE (News - Alert). On the LTE side, shipments of LTE chipsets in 2010 were in low volumes, but are expected to reach 10 million units in 2011 as many operators are planning investments in LTE.

The WiMAX industry has seen a large number of players in the base-band chipset landscape. The segment is likely to experience consolidation.

According to the Maravedis report, the development of the LTE modem is not the most complex aspect of the global LTE picture. Interoperability, seamless hand over, architecture expertise and management of the different bands across the world may be the obstacles facing LTE chipset suppliers.

The report said Broadcom (News - Alert), Sequans and GCT are commanding a combined market share of 83 percent of the total mobile WiMAX chipset market in 2010.

The selling price of a 4G chipset is at $13 in 2011. The average price is expected to come down at $10 in a couple of years. Further price decline will be gradual as WiMAX chipset volumes may not grow due to increased LTE penetration.

Recently, ABI Research said the global market for WiMAX services will grow five times its current size by 2015. The research agency scaled back its forecast for mobile WiMAX services by 15 percent due to the fact that Russian operator Yota, a WiMAX provider, announced it would begin deployments of LTE technology.

Rajani Baburajan is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Rajani's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Stefanie Mosca

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