Over 200+ Operators Planning WiMAX Deployments
August 28, 2006
The recent news that Sprint is planning a multi-billion dollar WiMAX rollout in the US caused a stir within the telecommunications industry. While Sprint raised a few eyebrows with its plans to build a nationwide wireless broadband network, operators around the world have been putting WiMAX technology through its paces for some time. There are more than 200 operators listed in TeleGeography’s WiMAX Market Tracking database that are either planning WiMAX rollouts or have already deployed trial or commercial systems.
With heavyweight backing from companies such as Intel and Motorola, WiMAX technology is getting more attention from industry watchers, and operators are beginning to make heavier investments in WiMAX. Announcements of new deployments come almost daily. Firms such as WiMAX Telecom in Europe, Yozan in Japan and Enforta in Russia already offer commercial services over fixed WiMAX networks, with many operators planning similar fixed systems or biding their time while the first mobile WiMAX equipment begins to make its way through the certification process.
Although some industry observers thought that WiMAX would primarily serve as a substitute for traditional copper lines in developing markets, it is become obvious that WiMAX will be a global technology. According to TeleGeography’s WiMAX Market Tracker there were over 117 total networks in the world with 14 new networks planned for North America even before the Sprint announcement. The table below highlights recent deployments with the most networks being planned and trialed in the Asia Pacific. Africa’s adoption of the technology has been improving with numerous networks planned, as a result of deregulations and the prioritization of the telecoms sector, which has opened the door to competition, investment, and the hope for low cost advantages promised by WiMAX.
Spectrum availability will obviously play a key role in the spread of WiMAX technology. For Sprint, already possessing a 2.5GHz allocation well positions its recent power play. Moving forward, operators worldwide will be looking for regulators to help clear the way for WiMAX by ensuring that sufficient spectrum is offered, and at frequencies which support the development of global roaming. With Sprint, Intel and Motorola confident enough to plow in billions of dollars, the future for WiMAX looks very bright.
Data from TeleGeography’s WiMAX Market Tracking Service is now available in the GlobalComms Database Service.