Communications market research firm Infonetics Research released the fourth quarter edition of its WiMAX report this week, noting that the overall WiMAX equipment and device market held steady in 4Q08 over 3Q08 at $275 million, as the 802.16e mobile WiMAX segment increased 5% to counter a slight dip in the 802.16d fixed WiMAX segment.
In 2008, the number of fixed and mobile WiMAX subscribers hit 3.9 million, up 120% from CY07.
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Mobile vs Fixed WiMAX Market Share
"The WiMAX market will be leaner in 2009, leading vendors to rationalize their strategies: Nortel has exited, Alcatel-Lucent has transitioned its mobility R&D to its LTE program, and others will have their commitment to WiMAX tested. As the year progresses, we will see more intense competition for the fewer new contracts, and a tight race for market leadership. Currently Alvarion, Alcatel-Lucent and Motorola lead the field, but there is evidence to suggest that both Huawei and Cisco are coming up on the outside lane." said Richard Webb, Directing Analyst - WiMAX, Microwave, and Mobile Devices - Infonetics Research.
Year-over-year, worldwide sales of 802.16e mobile WiMAX equipment (ASN gateways, BTS, CPE) grew 188% in 2008, while sales of 802.16e mobile WiMAX devices (Ultra Mobile PCs, phones, and external data cards) grew 121% in 2008, though the range of devices is still very limited.
The report also forecast that while WiMAX infrastructure revenue is subdued by the current global economic climate, strong CPE sales will drive overall mobile WiMAX market growth in 2009, as more services launch and new subscribers adopt WiMAX services for the first time.
Alcatel-Lucent took the lead in annual worldwide mobile WiMAX revenue share overall in 2008, pushing Motorola into 2nd place; Alvarion's strong second half of 2008 edged them past Samsung for 3rd position A fierce vendor market share battle is playing out in the mobile WiMAX market, with Alvarion consolidating its top spot on the overall WiMAX equipment revenue market share leaderboard in 4Q08. Huawei and Cisco continue to gain ground on the market leaders with a steady succession of both publicly announced and undisclosed WiMAX customer wins.
Source: Wireless Federation.