Mobile WiMAX enables a new internet based business model. It brings a unique approach of deploying internet that is quite different from the traditional telecom model. WiMAX originated from the need for broadband and data centric applications and focuses on providing an open internet business model that fosters innovation for both devices as well as applications. The two fundamental technological advantages of WiMAX—superior radio technology and an open IP-based access network infrastructure—are making it the technology of choice for many broadband applications.
World trends indicate that the Mobile WiMAX market is growing at a healthy rate. According to Infonetics Research there will be approximately 76 million fixed and mobile WiMAX subscribers worldwide in 2011. And the Dell' Oro Group recently reported that worldwide mobile WiMAX infrastructure revenues for 3Q 2008 nearly quadrupled 3Q 2007 revenues and forecast record setting fourth quarter revenues.
WiMAX continues to penetrate the underserved broadband areas in both emerging and developed markets. For rural and remote areas, which are considered uneconomical by providers to offer broadband and sometimes even voice services, WiMAX offers an excellent solution to overcome the digital divide and bridge the gap to areas already receiving these services. For developed areas, WiMAX offers an alternative to DSL, allowing operators to ultimately enable fixed mobile convergence (FMC) of networks and services.
For the personal broadband market, Mobile WiMAX addresses more densely populated areas, such as metro centers and suburbs, providing the opportunity to mobilize broadband connections by offering a DSL-on-the-go service. This is possible because Mobile WiMAX enables always-on broadband connectivity, complete with mobility, handover and roaming services, thereby ensuring that subscribers are always connected and online. It provides many operators with a competitive edge, enabling them to offer unique services to subscribers seeking to optimize their personal lifestyles, professional lives and productivity habits.
The trends and benefits offered by Mobile WiMAX present a fast and cost-effective entry into the broadband wireless market with a unique offering.
Mobile WiMAX offers a new revenue model
Mobile WiMAX is a next generation wireless technology offering service providers the opportunity to enhance their revenues through a better business case and user experience for mobile broadband services.
For fixed line incumbent operators faced with intense competition for basic voice services, Mobile WiMAX offers the ability to regain and increase revenues. By offering mobile broadband and voice services while taking advantage of their existing backhauling infrastructure and points-of-presence, incumbents can offer broadband, voice, and other services using a single wireless infrastructure.
For innovative challenger operators, mobile broadband offers the opportunity to avoid the use of incumbent infrastructures, while providing services at competitive prices with low initial investment. With Mobile WiMAX they can offer services in population-dense urban areas or rural areas where there is no coverage by the incumbent, as well as
offer backhaul to WiFi hotspot services.
Cable operators are considering mobile services to gain market share in broadband and voice services toward the overall convergence of services on their networks, and to offer triple play voice, video and data services with the convenience of mobility. This combination enables them to provide mobile users increased in-home coverage and the ability to switch calls between their mobile and fixed infrastructure, including the use of in-home WiFi connections. In areas where cable operators do not have a cable network
installed, Mobile WiMAX allows an operator to offer services in public or rural environments, with the high bandwidth required for real time demand of mobile video applications.
Finally, mobile operators are focusing on and investing in next generation 4G technologies as an adjunct to their current GSM or CDMA network systems. The result is two different networks—one for voice calls and the other as an overlay for broadband—running simultaneously. Until Mobile WiMAX, this has been a necessity because adding broadband to the voice network, which was designed for point-to-point voice applications, may result in network overload. Mobile WiMAX allows these operators to reduce congestion on their networks, add more capacity and enjoy the benefits of an all-IP architecture. Leveraging their existing base stations, radio frequency knowledge, field equipment and personnel, mobile operators can quickly and easily deploy a Mobile WiMAX network. The Mobile WiMAX business case, based on all-IP network architecture, has clear advantages over other core network designs. It offers operators the opportunity to enjoy the flexibility to use any WiMAX product and the price reduction resulting from interoperability economics.
Mobile WiMAX rolled out in the US
The first commercially available mobile internet service using mobile WiMAX technology with full mobility in the U.S. went live in June 2008 in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, under the brand name BridgeMAXX. It was built by DigitalBridge Communications (DBC) which specializes in providing broadband wireless services to small and medium-sized communities of up to 150,000 people nationwide using WiMAX technology.
This network enables wireless connectivity with full coverage for business and public offices, enabling employees to stay online in their vehicles and access services such as video, voice and data communications on the go.
In the fixed and portable broadband market, WiMAX is a low-risk, attractive opportunity, especially in emerging markets. In the mobile broadband market, the opportunity is expected to be much bigger as mobile broadband enables a shift toward multiple devices and multiple services per subscriber, and permits operators to move beyond the one-subscriber, one-ARPU, one-device model.
Alvarion’s award-winning WiMAX equipment has been used to build over 250 commercial WiMAX networks around the world including projects with end to end solutions and turnkey services. With IP and OFDMA expertise unmatched in the industry Alvarion is shaping the new wireless broadband experience. Customers include AT&T Alascom, Digicel, Finnet, WiMAX Telecom, Telkom South Africa, LinkeM Italy and VMAX in Taiwan. www.alvarion.com