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WiMax has an excellent opportunity to expand the market for fixed, portable and mobile broadband access, reports In-Stat market research firm. The company thinks that the market of wireless broadband equipment will expand to $3 billion by 2010.

“Our aggressive forecast for pre-WiMax-Certified 802.16-2004 equipment – subscriber units and base stations – is $42 million in 2005, growing to $3.2 billion in 2010. The conservative forecast is $19 million and $2.1 billion, respectively,” says Norm Bogen, In-Stat analyst.

The aggressive forecast relies on subscriber units, currently about $500, falling to less than $100 by 2010.

Though traction in the 802.16-2004 market will be important, the real success of WiMax will depend on the much larger 802.16(e) market since 802.16(e) offers new and existing mobile operators performance and economical improvements over existing 3G technologies, especially in its ability to deliver ARPU-attractive, multimedia services.

WiMax’s advantages in cost, flexibility and portability will also allow its providers to take market share from operators using proprietary wireless or wireline technologies, the high-tech market research firm says. The market’s biggest challenge will be worldwide harmonization of spectrum sufficient to allow manufacturers to mass-produce equipment at ever lower prices.

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