Insider Exposes the WiMax Paradox

Vendors aiming to leapfrog today's fixed WiMax systems and encroach on 3G with 802.16e systems face bleeding-edge challenges, finds report

July 7, 2005

3 Min Read

NEW YORK – Mobile WiMax is attracting huge interest as the leading, next-generation wireless access technology and is pitched as a new era in "personal broadband," but uncertainties around technology, spectrum, and big-name industry support cloud the outlook for mainstream adoption, finds a new report from the subscription research service Unstrung Insider.

The report, entitled Mobile WiMax: Who Goes Where?, identifies and analyzes the chipset and system vendors innovating in this critical, long-term market. According to developers interviewed for the research, core technologies driving Mobile WiMax (a.k.a. 802.16e or WiBro) will deliver superior spectral efficiency and end-user throughput than today's 3G networks. The question is, how fast can this technology can be productized and deployed?

Most of the innovation today in scaleable OFDMA (orthogonal frequency-division multiple access), and smart antenna systems appears to be driven by aggressive startups and vendors focused on leapfrogging today's Fixed WiMax (802.16-2004) plays, with an intent to develop portable systems that encroach upon the lucrative, 3G infrastructure market.

However, Unstrung Insider Chief Analyst Gabriel Brown, the author of the report, says that OFDM and MIMO are also on the roadmap for 3G evolution, and that major cellular vendors and operators may be more comfortable with this timeline and standardization process.

"Established players are unlikely to move aggressively on Mobile WiMax, leaving it to disenfranchised wireline operators and equipment vendors with weaker mobile infrastructure market-share positions to pick up the early pace," comments Brown.

Among the report's key findings:

  • The first Mobile WiMax services will launch in Korea in mid 2006, using Samsung equipment; U.S. service launches will follow, possibly as soon as 2007.

  • Stealth chipset startups are attempting to leapfrog the market and go directly to Mobile WiMax (802.16e); names in the frame include Beecem, SiWave, Cygnus, and Runcom.

  • Adaptix claims to have already demonstrated system-level mobility based on scaleable OFDMA (Mobile WiMax).

  • A market for 802.16e line cards and software will emerge alongside demand for smart antenna software suites, as major fabs and OEMs catch on to Mobile WiMax's potential.

Companies covered in this report: Adaptix Inc.; Airspan Networks Inc.; Alcatel (NYSE: ALA; Paris: CGEP:PA); Alvarion Ltd. (Nasdaq: ALVR); Analog Devices Inc. (NYSE: ADI); Aperto Networks Inc.; ArrayComm Inc.; Aspex Semiconductor Ltd.; Beecem Communications Inc.; Cambridge Broadband Ltd.; Cygnus Communications Inc.; Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERICY); Fujitsu Ltd. (Tokyo: 6702; London: FUJ); Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd.; Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC); LG Electronics Inc. (London: LGLD; Korea: 6657.KS); Lucent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LU); Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT); Navini Networks Inc.; NextNet Wireless Inc.; Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK); Nortel Networks Ltd. (NYSE/Toronto: NT); PicoChip Designs Ltd.; Proxim Corp. (Nasdaq: PROX); Redline Communications Inc.; Roke Manor Research Ltd.; Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (Korea: SEC); Sequans Communications; Siemens AG (NYSE: SI; Frankfurt: SIE); SiWave Inc.; SR Telecom Inc. (Toronto: SRX); TeleCIS Wireless Inc.; Wavesat Wireless Inc.; Wi-LAN Inc. (Toronto: WIN); and ZTE Corp. (Shenzhen: 000063; Hong Kong: 0763).

Mobile WiMax: Who Goes Where? is available as part of an annual subscription (12 monthly issues) to Unstrung Insider, priced at $1,350. Individual reports are available for $900. To subscribe, or for more information, please visit:

For additional information, to request a free executive summary of the report, or for details of multi-user licensing options, please contact:

Jeff Claudino
Sales Manager
Insider Research Services
[email protected]

For press inquiries, members of the media may contact:

Gabriel Brown
Chief Analyst
Insider Research Services
[email protected]

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