Monday, August 1, 2011


The biggest challenges to deploying WiMAX-based services are business related. Carriers need financial capability to implement infrastructure. Each operator has to carefully identify its own requirements, dictated by the type of services offered, the market segments targeted, the spectrum available, and the topography of the coverage area. There is no single solution that works for all, and operators need to make key choices about the management and core networks as they plan for their WiMAX networks.
An accurate business case analysis must take into account a wide variety of variables such as demographics, services, frequency band alternatives, capital expense items, operating expense items, and CPE equipment. The WiMAX business model can be looked from several perspectives. These include the equipment vendors, service providers and application providers, and customers. WiMAX will have a larger impact long term than we have seen from cellular phones in the past two decades. Initial rollouts of WiMAX will begin mostly by competitive local phone service carriers and rural Internet service providers. Larger carriers will utilize fixed WiMAX to deliver services to residential customers many of whom are in underserved markets. WiMAX adoption in these underserved markets will be high due to lack of availability of high-speed data access. These deployments will generate capital to be reinvested for future deployments. Larger customer base will begin driving both the cost of carrier and customer equipment down. As the economy of scale makes deployment less expensive, mobile platforms will begin to appear. This development will be spread between high population centers and the rural markets that already have fixed platforms deployed. Fixed platform will act as a springboard for mobile deployment. Then interconnections will begin to form between rural markets and metropolitan markets as carriers from cooperative agreements to share network resources. The economy of scale will increase exponentially at this point and we will notice a negative impact on traditional cellular, Internet, and voice services. Once the implementation of initial hot underserved rural markets and high-density metro areas is completed, springboard deployments will quickly take WiMAX coverage to the level of coverage offered by traditional wireless today. This process will move much faster than the deployment of cellular networks and devices for the following key reasons:
  • Manufacturing process for WiMAX devices will be quite similar to that of wireless devices and mostly the changes will be in components and software.
  • Readiness of the current wireless fixed and mobile market and waiting on new technology.
  • As carriers built out wireless networks, most of the questions in this field have been answered and can now be applied to the development of a mirror network that provides WiMAX access.
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