BWA/Wimax subs to hit 13m by yearend

Cintia Garza, Maravedis
23 Nov 2010

BWA/Wimax subs are expected to hit 13 million by the end of the year, up from nine million reported in Q2. Despite questions about Wimax's long-term roadmap, deployments continue on a large scale.

Five million of the nine million BWA/Wimax subs reported are concentrated in the top 20 Wimax operators. Clearwire (US), Yota (Russia), Inukshuk (Canada), Axtel (Mexico), Telmex (International) and Korea Telecom (South Korea) are among those with the highest subscriber numbers.

Before 2010 comes to a close, we will see other major Wimax deployments, such as the recently announced deal between Barrett Xplore and Alvarion to launch a 4G/Wimax network covering 2.5 million households across Canada.

Today there are more than 600 Wimax deployments across 149 countries, and more than 200 devices and 60 base stations certified. Our research indicates that mobile Wimax is outpacing fixed and proprietary deployments. The BWA/Wimax subscriber market share by standard today is 57% mobile Wimax, 25% fixed Wimax and 17% proprietary. We have observed decreasing numbers of fixed and proprietary devices installed every quarter, compared to continuous growth in the number of mobile Wimax devices installed.

In Q2 indoor modems held the largest market share, accounting for over 4.26 million installed base units or 57%, this was followed by 1.56 million (21%) USB dongles and 0.55 million (7%) PCMCIA cards. At this pace, we believe that indoor modems will account for only 30% by the end of 2011 while USB dongles and handsets/smartphones will account for approximately 25% and 20%, respectively.

The installed base of base stations rose 10% in Q2 to 333,323. The majority of base stations were 802.16e-2005 (accounting for 47% in Q1 and 50% in Q2). Our quarterly report predicts that an additional 50,000 base stations were installed in the third quarter.

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