WiMax is getting a lot of press these days, but a new report suggests that it won’t have a huge impact on the cellular industry. One problem is that mobile WiMax, or 802.16e, will not be commercially deployed until 2007. That gives the competition a big head start.
The Worldwide Cellular Infrastructure Report – 6th Edition forecasts that there will be 13 million users of the standard by 2010. This is well below what the strong supporters would claim.
The problem faced by WiMax, according to the report, is that operators are already deploying HSDPA, HSUPA and EVDO in lucrative markets around the world. The markets will be served by the time WiMax is available. They will be left with developing markets, which need services which do not require WiMax, such as basic voice and simple data transmission. The economics of WiMax are also not, at this point, favoring mass deployments of the technology.