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ITU: Huawei Predicts WiMax Boom

GENEVA -- ITU Telecom World 2009 -- WiMax is a hot topic here in Geneva, with the WiMAX Forum and its friends talking up its potential, and revealing real-world deployments and growth, here on Tuesday. (See ITU Day 2: WiMax Brings It, Clearwire Takes WiMax to Spain, and DragonWave Backhauls Yota's WiMax.)

Among the bulls is Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. , which is predicting quite amazing growth for its WiMax-related sales in the coming few years. Zhao Ming, the Chinese vendor's president of CDMA and WiMax, told the press here that Huawei's WiMax sales totaled $200 million in 2008, will reach $500 million this year, and is predicted to hit $1 billion in 2010.

"2009 is the year for WiMax takeoff," stated the Huawei man. (See Clearwire Confirms Huawei Deal, Huawei Seals Russian WiMax Deal, Huawei Claims WiMax First, and Huawei Wins WiMax Deal.)

Of course, when Huawei says "sales" it means the value of contracts signed, not actual revenues. And the Chinese vendor, as a privately held company, is accountable only to itself for such grand predictions: It's unlikely you'd find any listed company making such statements. (See Huawei Reports 2008 Revenues of $18.3B.)

And to put the claim into perspective, the WiMax Forum says there are currently between 8 million and 10 million WiMax users worldwide, with current forecasts (to be updated soon) putting the total at more than 100 million by 2013.

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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