Technology delays, adoption of HDSPA technology and a weak economy continue to hurt WiMax’s chances in the mainstream, a new report claims.
A recent survey by overseas research company, Maravedis, found WiMax subscriber growth slowed in the first quarter of 2009, indicating the emerging wireless technology will continue to struggle through this year.
Despite being backed by Google and Intel, WiMax is not considered a significant competitor to other broadband formats in the local market. According to Frost and Sullivan senior research manager, Phil Harpur, WiMax has lost the battle for mainstream success and will remain a niche technology.
“There’s really not much happening at all with WiMax here,” he said. “It had plenty of promise but lost the battle for mass adoption.
“Ongoing delays with launch, and a battle with 3G and 4G technologies, which has already penetrated the market will hold it back.”
There was some hope for WiMax to gain traction with rural areas and through National Broadband Network (NBN) funding, Harpun conceded. Unwired manager for corporate and regulatory affairs, David Havyatt, would not comment on the vendor’s plans and expectations for the technology.
“We don’t feel it is productive to speculate on the future of WiMax, or our plans for it in the market,” he said.
However, BigAir director, Jason Ashton, maintained high hopes for the technology, and said the vendor had seen no drop in interest.
“We’ve seen significant growth in the double digits year-on-year,” he said. “There’s been record growth for out WiMax business.”