So finally we could list India among the few potential markets in world for WiMAX deployments. A recent research conducted by Infonetics Research, concluded that US, Central & Eastern Europe, Russia, Middle East, China & India have strong potential for WiMAX-partially because they have huge populations, or their demands for broadband aren’t being met by existing technologies.
Some report highlights are:
- India is the largest single-country WiMAX opportunity in the world, with most of the major operators actively pursuing WiMAX (BSNL, Tata, Bharti Airtel, etc); deployments are well-underway with acceleration in adoption experienced in many telecoms circles
- In India, Telsima—now Harris-Stratex—led the WiMAX equipment market in 2008, followed by Alcatel-Lucent and WiMAX specialist Aperto
- Brazil is potentially one of the world’s most dynamic WiMAX markets, with a very mobile-oriented populace; WiMAX has an opportunity to become the primary broadband network in Brazil, where the number of WiMAX subscribers is forecast to skyrocket from 184,000 in 2008 to almost 8 million in 2013
- Russia is the ‘perfect storm’ for WiMAX: challenging geography, dispersed population, pent up demand for broadband and voice services, and a population able to pay for services; there are currently more than 10 WiMAX networks in operation or deployment in Russia
- Though the current market is very modest, if China‘s 3G technology TD-SCDMA fails to ignite the market, a softening of the regulatory attitude to WiMAX could follow, leading to much more extensive WiMAX market growth
Report also adds that “India, because of its scale, and the U.S., because of Clearwire’s profile, are the two most prominent markets for WiMAX, and both are absolutely critical to its fortunes Adoption levels and network performance in India and the US will dictate how WiMAX is perceived in a global context, and thus how prominent a position 802.16e takes in the overall wireless landscape in the next decade”
Perhaps, Indian operators would opt for WiMAX, a real mobile broadband technology, in coming months. If all goes well, we could see parallel 3G & WiMAX Base Stations deployments across country. But let’s be aware of limitations of both approaches- each might form separate business cases, providing solutions catering to entirely different population segments.