WiMAX subscriptions surpass 20 million globally

On Tuesday the WiMAX Forum (Beaverton, Ore., U.S.A.), a nonprofit organization promoting the adoption of WiMAX, announced that WiMAX technology has surpassed 20 million global subscribers.

"According to Infonetics Research, worldwide WiMAX subscribers passed the 20 million mark around the mid-point of 2011 and are on track to meet our forecast for around 25 million by the end of this year," said Richard Webb, directing analyst for WiMAX, Microwave & Mobile Devices at Infonetics Research. "Subscriber growth continues in all regions as WiMAX operators build their customer bases, but we have tracked notably strong growth in the U.S., the Indian sub-continent, and Latin America. With the levels of operator activity and device ecosystem growing, we forecast WiMAX subscribers to surpass 100 million by the end of 2015."

In the first half of 2011 Japanese telecom provider UQ Communications doubled its subscriber base, breaking the one million subscriber mark in June, according to the WiMAX Forum. Also in Asia Pacific, new Malaysian WiMAX operator YTL, which just launched WiMAX services in November of 2010, had netted over 300,000 subscribers by June.

On the other side of the world, Clearwire just announced that it ended the second quarter of 2011 with 7.65 million total subscribers, up 365% from 2Q 2010, according to WiMAX Forum. Clearwire increased its guidance to an expected 10 million subscribers by the end of 2011. Also in the Americas, Jamaican operator Digicel leveraged its WiMAX network to capture 25% of the local broadband market in less than a year; and Mexican WiMAX operator AXTEL increased its WiMAX subscriber base by over 80% to over 332,000, says the organization.

According to Infonetics Research, in the first quarter of 2011 the total worldwide sales of WiMAX equipment reached $502.1 million, up 49% from the first quarter of 2010. In 2011 WiMAX equipment alone is expected to be a $2 billion industry. Investment in WiMAX technology is still flowing, and in the first half of 2011 over 30 different WiMAX networks were either launched or expanded operations.

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