One Billion People to Have Access to WiMAX Networks by Year-End
The WiMAX Forum says that WiMAX networks will expand their coverage to reach a potential customer base of a billion people (or POPs) by the end of this year. Regional growth varied based on several factors including the local economy, existing mobile infrastructure and spectrum availability. The strongest growth occurred in the United States through Clearwire's network expansion and in the Asia-Pacific region, specifically Japan, Korea, Malaysia and the Philippines.
"WiMAX networks continued to grow at a steady pace, despite a slow global economic recovery and competitive technologies starting to enter the market," said Ron Resnick, president and chairman of the WiMAX Forum. "In 2010, the WiMAX Forum and the worldwide ecosystem continued its diligent work to deliver an evolutionary path from WiMAX Release 1 to WiMAX Release 2, based upon IEEE 802.16m, to help safeguard operators' network investment for future upgrades."
In 2010 the WiMAX Forum continued to see stable growth in Eastern Europe. Some CIS counties doubled their population coverage, and operators across the region are expected to expand WiMAX coverage to new population centers over the next year. The Latin America market saw slow growth due to ongoing spectrum auction delays.
By region, WiMAX Forum research uncovered the following growth:
- Asia Pacific leads with more than 322 million POPs, an increase of nearly 100 million in the past year.
- Europe had modest growth to 135 million people covered by WiMAX.
- North American coverage increased to 127 million from 47 million POPS.
- Africa/Middle East covers more than 121 million POPs.
- Central/Latin America reached nearly 118 million POPs.
India saw slow WiMAX growth throughout 2010 due to delays in network rollouts. However, over the next year, the WiMAX Forum expects to see strong network growth in India as BSNL has committed to deploy 20,000 base stations over the next 36 months through the use of regional franchisees.