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WiMAX 2010: Delivering 4G Around the World

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WiMAX is the only globally deployed 4G technology that today is enabling primary broadband in developing markets and providing 4G services in the most advanced telecommunication markets. With millions of subscribers today and triple-digit cumulative average growth predicted through 20141, WiMAX is starting to enjoy mass market adoption. Millions of people in Japan, United States, Korea, Europe, Malaysia, Russia, Taiwan and more than 100 other countries are currently enjoying the benefits of WiMAX. Expected to cover one-fourth of the globe’s population in the next two to three years, WiMAX deployments now cover over 630 million people today. A robust, flourishing competitive ecosystem, Affordable computers and laptops are available for most of the world's population.

WiMAX is supported by a mature and diverse ecosystem of global leaders from both the telecommunications and PC industries. Over 530 companies, including more than 30 providing low cost consumer devices and modems, are committed to making WiMAX and mobile broadband a success.

Driven by the incessant global demand for affordable wireless broadband Internet, WiMAX addresses both the needs of telecom operators with the cost dynamics of the PC industry. A case in point, the initial cost to PC manufacturers of embedded Wi Fi/WiMAX modules in laptops entered the market in 2008 at one-third to half the cost of the most advanced 3G solutions of the time. Today, WiMAX USB dongle pricing is roughly a fourth of the price of comparable 3G solutions.

By 2011, ABI Research projects the incremental material costs of adding embedded WiMAX to a device is predicted to be in the single digits. The impact of these types of device cost trends has a game-changing effect on the entire mobile broadband industry.



Connected Devices, Key to the Data Revolution
WiMAX operators offer a variety of WiMAX devices beyond what has been enabled on voicecentric networks. The demand for data is exploding— and 4G is all about data. WiMAX chips can be cost-effectively embedded into not only laptops and netbooks, but also consumer electronics (game players, digital cameras, navigation devices, home entertainment systems, etc.), utility meters, appliances and mobile Internet devices (MIDs), so users can connect, entertain, stay informed, and be productive wherever they go. These devices need the kind of speed and price/performance WiMAX offers.

WiMAX devices currently in market include 3G/4G handsets, personal hotspots (enabling multiple WiFi connections via a single WiMAX portable device), standalone broadband and VoIP modems (CPE), USB dongles, Wi-Fi/WiMAX gateways, MIDs (Mobile Internet Devices) and finally laptops and netbooks with built-in WiMAX modules. As of April 2010, more than 200 laptop and netbook models embedded with the Intel® WiMAX/WiFi Link 5000 and Intel® Centrino® Advanced-N + WiMAX 6000 series modules have been certified for operator networks. The world’s leading PC manufacturers are offering Intel-based, embedded WiMAX solutions including Acer, ASUS, Dell, Fujitsu, Lenovo, MSI, Onkyo, Panasonic, Samsung, Sony, and Toshiba.

More than 30 companies in Taiwan deliver WiMAX device designs including AboCom, AWB, Acer, Alpha Networks, ASUSTek, Cameo, CyberTAN, D-Link, DNI, Gemtek, GIL, IAC, Inventec, JStream, Liteon, Loop, MiTAC, MTI, Ruby Tech, Qisda, Quanta/QMI, Spectec Computer, TECOM, USI, WNC, and ZyXEL.

Source of Information : Wireless Design and Development May-June 2010

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