Motorola, Alcatel-Lucent, Alvarion, and Huawei named top Mobile WiMAX vendors

Infonetics Research recently surveyed carriers to determine the "top vendors" in the mobile WiMAX equipment market. The carriers chose Motorola, Alcatel-Lucent, Alvarion, and Huawei as the top four vendors. Nine additional vendors received votes for top WiMAX equipment vendor from a smaller number of carriers surveyed. The Infonetics report: Perception Is Everything: WiMAX Vendor Leadership Service Provider Survey shows that the top 4 vendors are front-runners in announcing mobile WiMAX customer numbers, and the first 3 lead in worldwide revenue share. Interestingly, not all service provider respondents named their own mobile WiMAX vendor as a top vendor. The survey, conducted in October and November 2008, asked purchase decision makers at incumbent, competitive, and mobile operators that own and operate a mobile WiMAX network (or will by 2010) about their: -Mobile WiMAX and cellular mobile network deployment plans -Most important criteria for choosing a mobile WiMAX equipment vendor -Familiarity with 10 mobile WiMAX vendors -Perception of the top vendors in the mobile WiMAX market -Ratings of 10 mobile WiMAX vendors based on 7 criteria: handsets and applications, WiMAX network performance, end-to-end solutions, pricing, product feature/roadmap, service and support, and ecosystem “Most WiMAX operators lack the deep pockets of longer established mobile incumbents. Vendors need a cohesive cost of ownership strategy that incorporates infrastructure, backhaul costs, and end-point costs. One of the reasons Huawei scores consistently highly in service provider vendor ratings in our survey is that Huawei presents a compelling cost/quality story that has resonance for the small, regionally focused, and often greenfield operators that typify the WiMAX arena,” said Richard Webb, directing analyst for WiMAX at Infonetics Research. More information at: http://www.infonetics.com/pr/2009/cr09.wmx01.nr.asp Our take: We see a lot of smaller WiMAX equipment vendors succeeding in selling fixed/nomadic WiMAX gear in emerging market countries, especially the Middle East and Africa.  We note recent deployments in Egypt and Greece using Aperto Networks and in Costa Rica from Airspan.  Fujitsu and NEC are also selling WiMAX  Base Stations and CPE. We continue to see great potential for WiMAX in the developing world, especially North Africa and the Middle East. While European telcos (e.g. BT, Deutsche Telekom, France Telecom) are faced with issuing profit warnings and watch helplessly as their share prices fall sharply, Middle Eastern telcos are doing well. For example, Wataniya in Kuwait has seen impressive growth, with profits for Q308 rising 64% year-on-year. That bodes well for broadband wireless deployments in the region. The money is there to finance the build-outs that are being postponed in the developed world (due to the ongoing credit crisis). Quoting from a WiMAX Forum report: WiMAX™ Technology Forecast (2007-2012): "In developing regions where fixed broadband communications links are currently insuffi­cient and there is the need and drive for rapid rollout of high-speed communications, there will be a greater frequency of multiple-user subscriptions than in economically developed areas. Therefore in countries and regions such as Brazil, China, India, Russia, the Americas, Middle East/Africa, Eastern Europe and Developing Asia Pacific, WiMAX CPE will account for a higher proportion of subscriptions than in North America and Western Europe through­out the forecast period  (2007-2012)." http://www.wimaxforum.org/documents/downloads/wimax_forum_wimax_forecasts_6_1_08.pdf

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