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When it comes to portable/mobile devices, the bulk of early WiMAX device shipments will be in the form of external laptop clients and embedded mobile PCs, according to In-Stat market research firm. At least initially, mobile WiMAX technology will not become available on mainstream handsets and other devices that take advantage of wide-area networks (WANs).

“WiMAX will grow by meeting pent-up demand and offering users a lower cost alternative to existing services. There will be different classes of operator control over devices. Despite what some technology advocates have said, not all WiMAX devices will follow the Wi-Fi model of full consumer ownership and control,” said Daryl Schoolar, an In-Stat analyst.

Growth in both external clients and laptops will benefit from the lower cost of the technology compared to cellular, and in some cases, lack of service contracts, the high-tech market research firm says. In-Stat believes these devices will attract both monthly subscribers and session-based users.

There are many challenges to WiMAX device growth, including current 3G services, 3GPP LTE (long term evolution, pre-4G) as well as the current economic climate. In-Stat believes that future trends with WiMAX devices are multi-band radios and chipsets that support both LTE and WiMAX.

The analysts believe that annual WiMAX device shipments will break the 10 million mark in 2010.

Tags: WiMAX, LTE, 3G

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