WiMAX technology has enormous potential, as it promises to satisfy a strong demand for ubiquitous mobile broadband, but competing technologies are significant threats, reports In-Stat.
While much uncertainty remains in this market, the high-tech market research firm foresees the WiMAX (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access) chipset market reaching as high as $950 million in 2009. Another plausible, more conservative scenario, pegs this market at $450 million in 2009.
"Competing technologies include 3G technologies on the cellular side (EV-DO Release 0, A, and B; HSDPA) and Wi-Fi (coupled with wireless mesh networking and MIMO enhancements within 802.11n) on the networking side," says Gemma Tedesco, In-Stat analyst. "Persuading the large service providers to build infrastructures to support WiMAX will be the key for WiMAX boosters, especially convincing cellular operators, who already have built out expensive 3G infrastructures."
A recent report by In-Stat found the following:
* Despite tremendous hype around WiMAX, the WiMAX chipset market has a relatively small number of players, as the market is quite nascent.
* There has been much innovation in WiMAX chipsets this year. Heavyweights Intel and Fujitsu released WiMAX PHY and MAC System-on-a-Chip (SoC) solutions this year, along with start-ups Sequans and Wavesat. Signal processing specialist, picoChip, powered the market for macro-base stations chipsets, with its software reference designs.
* Intel, perhaps WiMAX's biggest cheerleader, has the power to drive mobile WiMAX into becoming a standard embedded feature within mobile PCs, as Intel did with Wi-Fi in its Centrino mobile platform.
The report, "WiMAX: Wireless Super-Chips" includes a five-year forecast of the worldwide WiMAX chipset market, broken out by equipment type. In-Stat includes as "WiMAX" those chipsets that adhere to Fixed WiMAX (802.16-2004), Mobile WiMAX (802.16e), and WiBro (South Korea's mobile broadband service based on Mobile WiMAX). Also included are those chipsets that are WiMAX-ready (and adhere to 802.16-2004) that shipped, or will ship in 2005 and 2006, although not certified by the WiMAX Forum. The report also contains analysis of WiMAX chipset technology, market drivers and challenges, and brief profiles of chipset vendors.
In-Stat is based in Scottsdale, AZ. For more information visit www.in-stat.com.