From first launch in 2004 to the end of 2010, WiMAX has garnered some eleven million subscribers around the world, taking about six years to win a 2% share of all fixed broadband subscribers. TeleGeography’s latest forecast shows that Long Term Evolution’s (LTE’s) progress will be very different. First launched at the end of 2009, after six years it will have reached a 3% penetration of all wireless users, with a subscriber base that will have comfortably passed the 220 million mark. While TeleGeography predicts that WiMAX subscriber growth will continue apace, by the end of 2015 LTE subscribers will outnumber WiMAX subscribers by a factor of more than seven to one.
‘If you forget all the past hype about WiMAX and focus just on the next five years, it actually has a bright future’ said TeleGeography’s Pete Bell. ‘You can expect to see WiMAX achieving average annual growth in excess of 30% over that period, but there is absolutely no doubt that WiMAX customers will very quickly be dwarfed by those using LTE. Within the next 24 months LTE networks will have been launched by major cellular service providers in some 55 countries, with most other countries following suit over the subsequent three years,’ he added. Meanwhile, WiMAX deployment will be primarily targeted at fixed and nomadic applications rather than the mass mobile market.
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