By Christina Bjornstrom
WiMAX will disrupt the existing telecom industry and create a digital paradigm shift say panellists at the 1st South Asia Broadband Communications Congress & Expo 2007. Promising ubiquitous wireless access, WiMAX adds a new dimension to erupting digital enterprises.
Allowing for WiMAX users to access internet any and everywhere, industry experts believe WiMAX will initiate a revolution to match cell voice. Coupled with ease of use and low costs, 70-90% of new laptops are scheduled to be built with WiMAX capabilities says Nortel Wimax Solutions Director Mallikarjun Rao.
Mr. Rao believes that in the future, WiMAX could be made 10 times cheaper than it is today. According to Mr. Rao, Intel promises to produce 12 million PCs with WiMAX and WiFi competencies by the end of 2008. Mobile auto handsets with WiMAX are expected to enter the market between 2008 and 2009 with price projections at $100-150 per handset.
As the present leading provider of WiMAX, Aperto Networks caters to over 250 service providers. Aperto Networks Country Manager of India Rajender Yadav says most launches are multi-service by nature. Mr. Yadav believes voice is still a must-have under WiMAX, and if accommodated, will easily service urban, semi-urban as well as rural areas.
In order to successfully market WiMAX, Mr. Yadav asserts, “Costs have to be lowered, the regulatory framework needs to be revisited, more spectrum needs to be allocated, existing rural initiatives need to be exploited and licensing needs to change.”
According to Mr. Yadav, whereas the cost of WiMAX today is $100-200 per subscriber, the $100 barrier will be reached by sometime next year.