The WiMAX Forum projects that more than 27.5 million Indians will be WiMAX users by 2012. Additional data from this recent WiMAX Forum study estimates that approximately 70 percent of the forecasted WiMAX subscribers by 2012 will utilize mobile and portable WiMAX devices to access broadband Internet services.
The WiMAX Forum Worldwide Subscriber and User Forecast examines the progress of WiMAX service providers, equipment vendors, content developers and subscribers in regions around the world. The results reflect the accelerated growth of the WiMAX ecosystem, the acceptance of WiMAX technology and demand form mobile Internet services across the world. The forecast is based on results of an independently commissioned research study published this year.
“WiMAX devices and networks are available now for deployment worldwide delivering best in class broadband services at a cost to consumers significantly lower than any other technology. India is clearly making the commitment and taking the steps to ensure wireless broadband services are a reality that enables operators to meet the needs of India’s diverse and growing population,” said Ron Resnick, president of the WiMAX Forum. “In addition, an operator’s investment to afford the build out of infrastructure and deployment of the service is at the lowest capex and the best ROI models plus the economies of scale created by this demand will help drive down the cost of the wide range of diverse WiMAX devices. All of the leading telecom equipment manufacturers are having their WiMAX Base station and other infrastructure equipment WiMAX Forum Certified(TM) and are ready to showcase their equipment in India.”
Last week, the WiMAX Forum commended the Department of Telecommunications of India for the allocation of and upcoming auction relating to the 2.3 and 2.5 GHz frequency bands. The auction will enable two 20 MHz blocks in both the 2.3 and 2.5 GHz bands.
The WiMAX Forum is pleased that the Indian government plans to auction blocks in the 700 MHz and 3.3-3.6 GHz bands, as they become available. The WiMAX Forum expects to certify the first 3.5 GHz WiMAX products by the end of 2008 and views 700 MHz as a strong contender for Mobile Internet services, especially in India’s low-density rural areas.
The availability of these key bands for WiMAX technology in India will provide its consumers with much needed broadband connectivity across the diverse economic and social needs of the entire population. WiMAX technology has the potential to bridge India’s digital divide, offering broadband services in dense urban and suburban areas, rural broadband connectivity to enable high speed wireless applications and services, and enterprise broadband access across the country.
The WiMAX Forum plans to add an Indian certification lab to its existing network by the end of 2008 to stay ahead of the demand for products in this region. The WiMAX Forum’s current network consists of six labs in China, Korea, Spain, U.S. and two in Taiwan. The industry body will also add a lab in Japan by the end of 2008 and a Brazilian lab in 2009.
The WiMAX Forum is made up of more than 530 member companies, who are committed to the success of the WiMAX standard. WiMAX Forum membership consists of 144 ecosystem content developers, 162 service providers, 92 silicon component manufacturers and 131 system vendors.
Currently, more than 35 WiMAX Forum member companies are producing WiMAX base stations, 30 companies are providing PC Cards, USB modems, MIDs, and other personal devices, 25 companies provide chipsets and reference designs, and seven of the top eight global device manufacturers are developing WiMAX products.
Further signifying the rapid growth of the WiMAX ecosystem, the first Mobile WiMAX(TM) products have been WiMAX Forum Certified(TM) in the 2.3 and 2.5 GHz bands. The WiMAX Forum estimates that by 2011 there will be more than 1,000 Mobile WiMAX Certified products found throughout the world.
There are currently more than 305 deployments of WiMAX networks in more than 118 counties. The WiMAX Forum also expects to have a comprehensive global roaming plan available to operators by the end of 2008.