As bandwidth consumption continues to grow, communications revenues over the next few years are expected see a 10% annual growth rate in the US reaching $1.3 trillion by 2011. However wireless technology will realize up to 34% annual growth in that same time period according to the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA).
"The most significant telecommunications growth area will be in wireless over the next several years and this segment will more than triple annual the growth rate of telecommunications in general," said Tom Hemingway, CEO of NextPhase Wireless.
Meanwhile US landline revenues have fallen significantly from $228.4 billion in 2000 to $174.7 billion in 2007 and are expected to drop to $153 billion by the end of 2011, according to TIA in its published Market Review and Forecast. The TIA study combines the efforts of 100 market researchers across numerous fronts to deliver a forecast of the global telecommunications industry.
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With the rapid and steady decline of landline services this coming decade, there is only one means to realizing the growth foreseen by TIA. That means is wireless. And while landline revenues are projected to drop by 33% between 2000 and 2011, wireless data revenues will grow at about 34% annually. "WiMAX allows for infrastructure growth in underserved markets and is the most cost-effective means to deliver secure, reliable bandwidth capable of supporting business critical, real-time applications to municipalities, institutions and the enterprise," said Hemingway.
Currently there are 1.2 million WiMAX subscribers worldwide. Of those subscribers, only 11,000 are in the US. Globally, WiMAX has been an effective last mile solution, but licensed spectrum availability and equipment limitations have held up early adaptation in the US. Now that the FCC has opened up the 3.65 GHz spectrum in the US for WiMAX deployments in the past year, the technology is positioned to take off domestically. NextPhase Wireless holds a national 3.65 GHz license with the FCC and is positioned to be a leading provider of mobile WiMAX services.
This is the first year that the TIA report factored in WiMAX projections, previously talking about WiMAX as a "future technology." TIA expects that WiMAX subscriptions will grow to at least 37 million customers by the end of 2011. Wireless data accounted for $6.9 billion in revenue in 2005 and rose to $22 billion in 2007. That number is expected to reach $67.2 billion by 2011.
Rider Research, which researches and reports on the digital media industry sees these WiMAX projections as meager compared to the total US WiMAX opportunity, and states that these projections will be "comfortably smashed." Citing the impetus by Intel's efforts to include WiMAX chips onto its motherboards, Rider suggests that WiMAX subscription levels "potentially could be massively higher" than projected by TIA.
Source: Cellular News.