Last-mile WiMAX to topple DSL

Speed of deployment gives WiMAX significant opportunity to act as a DSL substitute technology

A new analysis by Juniper Research of the global opportunity for WiMAX 802.16e to deliver ´local loop´ broadband connectivity forecasts that WiMAX will begin to take off over the 2009 to 2011 period.

By 2013, Juniper estimates that there will be more than 47 million subscribers globally and that there is a significant opportunity for WiMAX as a DSL substitute technology.

However, the report cautions that the two key issues dictating take-up for this technology will be the availability of suitable devices, and timely network construction.

Service providers need to complete build programmes on time in order to achieve sustainable WiMAX based businesses, said the research firm, and they also need to translate trials into commercial networks offering reliable and attractively-packaged services.

With all things being equal, Juniper found that WiMAX is well suited to rapid deployment in the many underserved areas, not only in developing areas, but also in developed countries. The firm expects global WiMAX service revenues, as a DSL replacement technology, to grow to over $20bn per annum by 2013.

The primary DSL replacement regions will likely be The Far East; North America; Western Europe and Africa/Middle East. In all, Juniper forecasts that around 12% of the forecast DSL subscriber base for 2013 will be replaced by WiMAX.

Commented report author Howard Wilcox said: "We determined that the vast majority of the WiMAX 802.16e trials and network contracts which are being announced almost daily will begin by providing fixed broadband.


“WiMAX can deliver broadband not only to unwired areas, but can also improve speeds for subscribers who are on the fringe of DSL coverage in metropolitan areas. We anticipate that mobile usage will develop after initial demand for fixed and portable services. WiMAX 802.16e is a flexible platform that can operate in all three modes of usage."  

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