Thursday, October 22, 2009

560,000 BWA/WiMAX subscribers added in Q2-09

MONTREAL, Canada, October 20th, 2009 – Approximately 560,000 BWA/WiMAX subscribers were added in Q2 2009, according to the latest quarterly report published by Maravedis as part of its leading 4GCounts subscription service (www.4gcounts.com)

The average BWA/WiMAX subscriber growth rate in Q2 2009 was 16.5 percent over Q1 2009, and there was a 74 percent year-over-year growth rate since Q2 2008. “Global service revenue growth is going up as WiMAX operators experience increase in subscriber growth, and the gradual appreciation of most currencies against the US dollar,” noted Maravedis CEO and Founder, Adlane Fellah.

“The first part of 2009 was difficult for WiMAX because of the economic recession, however in Q2 2009 we saw many operators recovering from the subscriber and revenue slowdown they experienced in previous quarters,” noted Cintia Garza, co-author of the report.

“The higher demands imposed by open Internet access on web-phones and laptops pushes incumbent operators to LTE, and Greenfield operators to more rapid returns for WiMAX deployments. With additional spectrum hard to come by, this is likely to pull in the time frame for conversions of existing spectrum. Operators’ thinking shows early signs of shifting," commented Robert Syputa, Maravedis Senior Analyst and Partner.

The quarterly report also explores the motivations for 3G operators to invest in LTE, and what challenges they will face when adopting this technology. “LTE is considered today by many mobile operators as the main option to address the need for higher bandwidth services.

"However the technology is experiencing continuous delays in terms of the availability of LTE devices and lack of harmonized spectrum; many operators are eager to continue profiting from their current CDMA/HSPA networks before they invest huge sums into next generation networks,” explained report co-author Basharat Ashai.

This quarter's summary findings
* Clearwire USA continues to be the top BWA/WIMAX operator in terms of subscriber numbers. Clearwire has stopped marketing spending to concentrate on its network buildout, but still anticipates that in the second half of 2009 it will have the largest subscriber growth.

* Q2 2009 recorded WiMAX ARPU was US$39.50 and US$121.80 for residential and business segments respectively, compared to $36.70 and $111.74 for the same segments in Q1 2009.

* Out of all BWA/WiMAX CPEs deployed as of Q2 2009, 4GCounts showed 25 percent were 802.16-2004, 23% were 802.16e-2005, and 52 percent were vendor proprietary.

* Mobile traffic is experiencing extraordinary growth worldwide. Global mobile data traffic in Q2 2009 had a monthly increase of 30 percent with respect to the previous quarter.

* HTTP browsing is the most popular application on broadband mobile networks -- both globally and in each individual region, and it is responsible for 32 percent of global mobile bandwidth.

* 45 new devices obtained WiMAX Forum certification from June to September 2009, including 18 notebooks, four cards, 12 USB dongles, and three chipsets, among other devices.

* Of the top 35 mobile operators committed to LTE tracked by 4GCounts as of Q2 2009, 37 percent are planning a commercial rollout in 2010, 29 percent in 2011, 25 percent in 2012, and 9 percent have yet to confirm their timeline.

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