WiMax is becoming a force in the wireless access arena, particularly outside the developed world, research company In-Stat has revealed.
By 2008, worldwide sales for WiMax equipment will top billions of dollars, although over half of that will be for customer premise equipment.
WiMax, the Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access standard, is a new form of broadband wireless access that makes broadband cheaper than ever to deploy. However, WiMax providers will need to bundle wireless broadband services with VoIP to allow consumers to save money every month, even though they are upgrading from dial-up internet access to broadband.
"Although in the US WiMax has not been considered a serious prospect for entering the mainstream, outside of North America, Western Europe and parts of Asia, the perception of broadband wireless access is very different," said Eric Mantion, In-Stat analyst.
"In those areas, broadband wireless access is often the only choice for connectivity, and this connectivity isn't just for data services. In many parts of the world the main benefit of broadband wireless access comes from providing voice service."
In-Stat added that another area where WiMax is expected to do well is as a way to provide point-to-point links. A prime example would be with cellular BTSs that are currently using a leased line to provide a backhaul to the network.
The research organisation also believes that beyond VoIP and broadband, WiMax promises to provide an eventual solution for the high cost of mobile phone use.