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 IPTV Industry


Technology White Papers

WiMAX vs. 3G

WiMAX Spectrum More Economical Than 3G

Other Topics: WiMAX Metro Area Network, Russia WiMAX Network

Robert Hoskins
Broadband Wireless Exchange Magazine
January 17, 2006

The price paid per Hz for WiMAX spectrum is as much as 1,000 times lower than for 3G spectrum according to the latest report from leading research firm Maravedis titled “Spectrum Analysis - The Critical Factor in WiMAX versus 3G”. This white paper provides an in-depth review of the economics of spectrum for both 3G and WiMAX around the world.

“The low cost of BWA/WiMAX spectrum compared to 3G is a clear driver for service providers to enter the field of wireless services with WiMAX” explained Adlane Fellah, author of this new research.
The much lower cost of WiMAX/BWA spectrum resulted in a high number of licensees with a total 721 license holders were awarded for BWA/ WiMAX against 106 licensees for 3G.

North America is by far the leading region in terms of the number of BWA/WiMAX licenses awarded with a total of 394 BWA/WiMAX license holders, against 186 licensees in Europe, 97 licensees in Asia, and 49 licensees in the CALA (Caribbean and Latin America) region.

Maravedis’ latest research also revealed that, contrary to 3G licenses, the BWA/WiMAX licenses awarded across the world are essentially regional licenses. North America is a perfect example of a situation where 100% of its WiMAX/BWA licenses are regional. In Europe and the CALA region the proportions are 78% and 71% respectively.

Maravedis predicts that this crowded environment will result into a highly fragmented, unpredictable and more competitive marketplace with smaller and cost-aggressive players.

On the other hand, a low-cost spectrum has also attracted players with more modest pockets than large mobile operators. “One should remember that BWA spectrum was initially allocated for fixed only applications and remains so in many countries,” Fellah added.

The report also suggests that most regulators have not kept pace with the progress of technology that makes fixed-mobile convergence a reality. Whether it is fixed applications with CDMA technology or mobile applications with WiMAX, the two fields are converging and will be competing for a share of the one billion mobile subscribers market.

Maravedis is a leading research and analysis firm focusing on Broadband Wireless technologies including WiMAX, 802.20, TD-CDMA and Wireless Local Loop Systems. Maravedis has established itself over the years as the most credible and reliable resource for market intelligence in the broadband wireless industry. Maravedis works with equipment vendors, service providers, regulators and the investment community to produce a sound market analysis based on hard primary data and on in-depth understanding of technology, market and regulation trends.

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