22 ops account for 50pc WiMax subscribers!

By : |March 31, 2009 0

MONTREAL, CANADA: The top 22 operators worldwide will contribute nearly 2.5 million subscribers by the end of 2009 – up from 1.24 million today – and close to 4 million by the end of 2010, according to the latest research report from Maravedis entitled, "The Top 22: Operators Who Will Make or Break WiMAX".

Operators selected for the report enjoy two key conditions: They have deep enough pockets to deploy major networks and have access to sufficient spectrum to be profitable in the long term. In fact 46 percent of operators interviewed have 50MHz or more of spectrum, while 45 percent have more than $100 million in cash.

These operators include obvious names such as Clearwire, and also operators, who currently enjoy a relatively small subscriber base, but for whom Maravedis believes there is great potential, such as Scartel (Russia). Other such “strategic” operators include: UQ Communications (Japan), Far EasTone (Taiwan), BSNL (India) and Telmex International.

Of fundamental importance to many operators is how to bring forward new deployments that can support market demands for higher bandwidth and a richer mix of applications and content. 

Adlane Fellah, CEO, Maravedis Inc., said: “A major focus of this report is to provide insights of the plans and experiences of the 22 operators.  At this volatile juncture, it is important to keep close tabs on evolution of network deployments and services."

Cintia Garza, Senior Analyst and co-author of the report, said: “Interestingly, 42 percent of these operators are considering or planning to deploy LTE. Networks have been dominated so far by standalone CPEs as well PC peripherals such as USB dongles and PC cards. Embedded multimode devices are only emerging in the last few months thanks to operators such as Scartel."

Although, the 22 WiMax operators enjoy the support of strong investor groups and deep pockets to offset limited credit facilities, they are still impacted by the financial crisis. Given the current global economic uncertainty, wireless capital expenditures by most of the top WiMa operators are predicted to slow down in 2009.

Key Findings
47 percent of current networks account for less than 10,000 subscribers
75 percent of operators have more than 10 million PoP covered
Operators are generating an average ARPU of $35 for residential services and $93 for business services
33 percent of operators use only microwave radios for their backhaul
52 percent plan to deploy femtocells in the next 24 months

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