Mobile WiMAX to level Asia-Pacific playing field

While most Asia-Pacific (APAC) countries are still processing spectrum bidding, manufacturers and application vendors are aggressively entering mobile WiMAX markets. As the market for mobile WiMAX expands, manufacturers are targeting new customer segments, and there will be a correspondingly huge opportunity in APAC regions.

“Because mobile WiMAX is aimed at untapped markets, almost all vendors including start-ups could be on equal footing with the larger, more established players,” says ABI Research senior analyst Andy Bae. “They will find significant opportunities in APAC.”

South Korea, Japan, Taiwan and New Zealand have entered into the mobile WiMAX kickoff phase by completing the spectrum bidding process. Japan’s WBP consortium intends to invest huge resources with a clear vision and service structure aimed at providing nationwide mobile WiMAX services.

“Mobile WiMAX is an ideal service format for developing countries in APAC to solve the ‘digital gap’ in rural areas,” Bae continues. “Further, operators in developed countries could deploy data-centric services with a cost-effective investment.”

Mobile WiMAX services will differ depending on penetration rates, service requirements, and government regulations.

While deploying commercial WiMAX services, operators such as Korea Telecom are crafting WiBro strategies for terminal types, tariff plans and competition with HSDPA, strategies that might have implications for other regions.

South Korean vendors are starting to roll out WiMAX-equipped consumer digital devices such as game devices and portable media players. Consumer electronics will be the leading sector for shipments due to user demands such as UGC (user generated content).

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