WiMAX Delivered the Fastest Rate of Growth in 2Q-2009

Posted by at 3:26 pm on September 8, 2009

Starting from a small base, WiMAX posted the highest rate of growth of all wireless access technologies for the second quarter of 2009. “WiMAX achieved a whopping 74% growth compared to the previous quarter,” says Jake Saunders, vice-president for forecasting at ABI Research. “The installed base of WiMAX stood at a little over three million subscriptions, but it is a sign that the battle for the 4G market is not an automatic victory for LTE.”

Both 802.16d and 802.16e are included in these statistics, to represent the total base of WiMAX subscribers, since many 802.16d networks will eventually be changed to 802.16e, even if they are mostly used for fixed services.

LTE subscriptions will start to trickle in during the second to third quarter of 2010. NTT DOCOMO had hoped to commence commercial LTE in 2009 but has since postponed its launch to 2010.

Mobile broadband subscriptions are taking off. ABI Research estimates there will be more than 240 million subscribers by the end of 2009. By 2014, that figure could surpass 1.2 billion.

Mobile data traffic is burgeoning. Early in 2009 mobile operators started to ramp up WCDMA 3G infrastructure equipment purchases dramatically to ensure sufficient network capacity to meet demand. 3G subscriptions secured 25% of the global subscription market with almost 910 million.

LTE and WiMAX generate high expectations but meanwhile HSPA has notched up almost 160 million subscriptions. While EDGE may not have the allure of 3G or 4G, carriers are relying on it to deliver mobile Internet and messaging services where 3G coverage is inadequate. In 2Q-2009 there were approximately 375 million EDGE subscribers.

Growth rates were depressed on a regional basis around the world for the first half of 2009 but ABI Research anticipates there will be a steady recovery in subscriber adoption which should provide carriers with a much-needed boost in 4Q-2009 and in 2010. Total subscriptions surpassed 4.15 billion in 2Q-2009.

ABI Research’s Mobile Subscriber Market Data highlights the important trends for all mobile cellular regional markets and the 120 key markets in the world, presenting the latest quarterly results as well as a five-year annual forecast.

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