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The WiMAX Forum said on Thursday that WiMAX service providers now offer networks covering 430 million people, or POPS, globally and are on a path to nearly double to 800 million people by end of 2010.

“WiMAX coverage is here now and is the catalyst in the global marketplace to deliver 4G broadband Internet access to countries that don’t want to wait. These new deployment numbers reveal the mobile Internet WiMAX ecosystem has achieved strong growth and will continue to satisfy the market demand to deliver high-speed broadband services in 2009,” said Ron Resnick, president and chairman of the WiMAX Forum.

Global WiMAX network deployments are approaching 460 in more than 135 countries for fixed, portable, and mobile networks. The WiMAX Forum also met key milestones with the first mobile WiMAX 3.5GHz products receiving the WiMAX Forum Certified seal of approval.

“Certified products in the 3.5 GHz band will now give more operators access to the equipment and devices needed to deliver mobile broadband services,” added Mr. Resnick.

With more than 430 million POPS already covered by WiMAX services, and new spectrum licenses anticipated to be allocated in countries such as Brazil and India, WiMAX Forum expects to see accelerated growth of WiMAX’s global footprint in 2009. The ecosystem can expect to see continued subscriber growth as consumers and enterprises recognize the availability of WiMAX as a high-speed low-cost alternative to other Internet technologies.

More than 50 mobile WiMAX Certified products achieved certification in 2008. Currently, more than 35 WiMAX Forum member companies manufacture WiMAX base stations, 30 companies provide PC Cards, USB modems, mobile Internet devices and other personal devices, 25 companies produce chipsets and reference designs, and six of the top seven global device manufacturers develop WiMAX products. The WiMAX Forum estimates that by 2011 there will be more than 1000 Mobile WiMAX Forum Certified products found throughout the world.

“After several years in development, 2008 was the year that WiMAX became a global reality. In both emerging markets and mature countries, companies and governments are deploying 4G WiMAX networks to help bridge the digital divide and bring affordable, super-fast mobile broadband to their citizens. As countries look to accelerate broadband in 2009 to address economic recovery, WiMAX is ready – it’s the right technology at the right time,” said Sean Maloney, executive vice president of Intel Corp.

Tags: WiMAX, 4G

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