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Saturday, February 19, 2005

WiMax Set To Make Impact In Global Telecom Markets

WiMax,wireless broadband is gearing to compete with DSL and cable modem services and without the need for heavy regulation will have a significant impact on the telecoms industry. According to In-Stat, low network investment costs, and non-line-of-sight operation over licensed or non-licensed radio spectrum makes WiMax an attractive technology.The success of WiMax, which supports point to multi-point broadband wireless access rates up to 2Mbps over a coverage area of three to five miles, remains uncertain.In-Stat's report stated that, by 2009, approximately 8.5 million worldwide, will be using WiMax-based broadband wireless access services. Nearly 4.5 million of these will also subscribe to Voice over WiMax services, according to the study. The analyst firm predicted that a maximum 15 per cent market share is likely available to broadband wireless access operators in metropolitan areas.Emerging country markets typically have antiquated technology and limited public network capacity, making WiMax particularly attractive.The emergence of standards-based wireless interoperability for WiMax wide area broadband microwave access equipment will "lift wireless communications to new heights",goes the prediction.Frost & Sullivan research suggests,WiMax is likely to become the third most widely used high-speed internet access technology following its competitors DSL and cable modem.. WiMax could even upstage DSL, particularly in the rural areas of Asia and eastern Europe where it is extremely expensive to deploy cable or DSL. "Customers are more confident about accepting a specifications and standards-based product and this is tilting the balance in favour of WiMax," said Frost & Sullivan. Lower costs, continuous product evolution, and flexibility in switching suppliers are driving uptake of WiMax-based products, according to the analyst.
Success in several mass markets, coupled with the increase in the number of technology providers, is also making the technology more accessible and affordable. Products are expected to be announced second quarter of 2005. As of 2004, major cities such as Seattle in the U.S.,and Dalian and Chengdu in China are already implementing WiMax.A first pilot program will be expected to deploy in the summer of 2005 in Montreal in the festivital zones (Place des Arts and Complexe Desjardins) or at the Old Port of Montreal. Oakland County, Michigan has announced plans to cover the entire 910 square miles of the county with free WiMAX service beginning in late 2005 via its Wireless Oakland Initiative. "Given its non-line of sight, Voice over IP, and interoperability capabilities, WiMax holds the potential to coexist with, if not upstage, current technologies.For example, a combination of Wi-Fi and WiMax capabilities for mobile phones, laptops and PDAs is an emerging trend, the reported stated. This hybrid would provide user access through Wi-Fi and backhaul by means of WiMax

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