WiMAX to live in the mobile broadband shadows until the next decade

Users will continue to feed their appetite for mobile broadband, leading to a market with more than 500 million subscribers worldwide in the next four years, according to research.

But new and emerging technologies will contribute for just six per cent of that growth, meaning recent contenders won't live up to their hype in terms of adoption rate as quickly as anticipated, claims a report compiled by Strategy Analytics.

WiMax will have 13 million subscribers during that timeframe, boosted largely by WiBro networks in South Korea.

UMTS TDD will also be one of the technologies eating into the old timers' six per cent market share, with IPMobile's 2007 Japan launch helping to fuel a future user base of 14 million.

These two recent market entrants plus others will collectively boast a 30 million-strong fan base by 2010.

But, despite their obvious advantages, they won't be able to steal that much attention away from finessed existing technologies such as HSPA and EV-DO Revision A+, according to the analyst.

"We're not likely to see technologies like mobile WiMAX or indeed, anything else, really take off until the next decade," said Sara Harris, a senior industry analyst at Strategy Analytics, who authored the report entitled Beyond 3G: Looking for True Mobile Broadband.

"However, HSPA and EV-DO will be more than acceptable for most users, giving them the speed and flexibility they want to use their fixed internet applications on the move."

Maggie Holland

Maggie has been a journalist since 1999, starting her career as an editorial assistant on then-weekly magazine Computing, before working her way up to senior reporter level. In 2006, just weeks before ITPro was launched, Maggie joined Dennis Publishing as a reporter. Having worked her way up to editor of ITPro, she was appointed group editor of CloudPro and ITPro in April 2012. She became the editorial director and took responsibility for ChannelPro, in 2016.

Her areas of particular interest, aside from cloud, include management and C-level issues, the business value of technology, green and environmental issues and careers to name but a few.