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Pyramid Research Market Report Abstract

Positioning WiMAX How WiMAX Stands Up To DSL, Cable, Wi-Fi and 3G
Pricing: US$1,990 Single user license, PDF




These days, WiMAX seems to be at the top of everyone’s watch list and has become one of the most anticipated developments in the telecommunications world. Expectations are high for WiMAX, with the technology ultimately promising to deliver metropolitan area mobile broadband. Fact or fiction? This report looks beyond this hype to uncover the true promise of WiMAX.

In an attempt to gauge industry players’ interest in WiMAX and understand their views, plans and concerns, we conducted an online survey encompassing 414 wireline and wireless operators and vendors. We then followed up with in-depth operator interviews. Survey results and feedback from operator interviews helped shape Pyramid Research’s analysis of WiMAX and its prospects in both fixed wireless broadband and mobile markets as compared to other technologies including Wi-Fi, cable, DSL and 3G.

This report provides results of our online survey and operator interviews, and demand projections for 802.16d, 802.16e, Wi-Fi, cable, DSL, HSDPA, CDMA 1Xev-DO and total narrowband and broadband lines. We also examine our projections of wireline and wireless voice revenues.

Key Questions Answered

  • What are the promises and shortcomings of WiMAX?
  • What factors will drive WIMAX deployments by operators?
  • Where will WiMAX be deployed?
  • Does WiMAX pose a threat to wireline broadband?
  • Does WIMAX pose a threat to 3G?
  • Which customer segments will be addressed by WiMAX?
  • Is WIMAX here to stay, or will it eventually peter out, like a number of other fixed wireless broadband technologies?

Target Audience

This report will help operators ascertain the potential and capabilities of WIMAX and whether they should launch it. For mobile operators, the report provides a comparison of realistic availability timeframes for various technologies, and analyzes the impact that WIMAX, HSDPA and CDMA 1xEV-DO. would have on each other. For fixed operators, the report benchmarks WIMAX against other fixed wireless broadband technologies.

Should vendors bother with a WiMAX solution in their portfolio? This report helps ascertain where the WiMAX opportunity lies for vendors, and provides insights for product positioning, from WiMAX as a stand-alone solution to WiMAX as a complementary mobile/fixed broadband solution.

Financial Institutions
This report helps clear the fog surrounding the purportedly disruptive effect of WiMAX on existing service providers. Are investments safe, and what does WiMAX mean for service provider long term revenue? Does WiMAX extend the service provider addressable market? This report answers such questions, and sheds some light on potential winners and losers.

Executive Summary

Significant conclusions to be derived from this analysis are as follows and are examined in detail in the report:

  • Will WiMAX really deliver on its performance-related promises? History tells us that theoretical capabilities do not hold up in practice. WiMAX providers need to allay these concerns and bring tangible proof to the market for evaluation. In such a competitive market, WiMAX cannot afford to take its time. Operators are making their decisions now!
  • WiMAX pricing will not be as competitive as perceived. The rate of adoption will be slowed by small scale deployments, variety of spectrum bands and proliferation of chipsets with different features, and the combined effect will keep prices high.
  • While WiMAX will primarily be a fixed solution, 802.16d will not dramatically expand the total fixed wireless broadband market. It will exist as one of many solutions in the lastmile. Early buyers of 802.16d will include small and medium-sized enterprises (SME), as their locations frequently lack access to fiber and because other alternatives such as T1 connections are more expensive. A limited window of opportunity also exists within the underserved residential market.
  • Operators will use WiMAX as a backhaul solution to feed Wi-Fi hotspots, to reach underserved and remote locations less expensively for fixed access, to replace microwave solutions and to augment the reach of cable.
  • 802.16e is perceived as a threat in the mobile industry and is pushing mobile operators to upgrade their networks to match its bandwidth offerings. Ultimately, WiMAX will capture a small portion of the high-bandwidth mobile users. 802.16e operators will include fixed carriers that have been waiting a long time to capture a piece of the mobile opportunity. First adopters will include the same operators deploying 802.16d, followed by other fixed operators. Once equipment prices fall, WiMAX could also become the technology of choice for new mobile entrants in developed markets and mobile operators in developing markets.
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