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Summary:

WiMAX might have had a head start when it comes to the next generation wireless broadband sweepstakes, but it’s feeling the heat from Long Term Evolution aka LTE. New data shows that by 2015, LTE will have seven times as many users as WiMAX.

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WiMAX might have had a head start when it comes to the next generation wireless broadband sweepstakes, but the technology is beginning to feel the heat from its rival, Long Term Evolution, aka LTE. New data from research firm Telegeography shows that by 2015, LTE will have seven times as many users as WiMAX.

That trend has many early WiMAX backers worried, and even Clearwire isn’t immune to the idea of experimenting with a new flavor of LTE. Telegeography says that by the end of 2010, there will 11 million WiMAX subscribers around the world but the going is to get a lot tougher for WiMAX. In the next two years, LTE networks will be launched by carriers in 55 countries, and that should jumpstart the growth for LTE-related services. In comparison, WiMAX is going to be relegated to fixed and nomadic applications, instead of being a mainstream mobile offering, Telegeography argues.

LTE, which launched in late 2009, will take about six years to garner an estimated three percent of the total wireless market, Telegeography posits. A lot has to do with the availability of phones that support LTE and other devices that can leverage the wireless broadband technology.

While TeleGeography predicts that WiMAX subscriber growth will continue apace, by the end of 2015 LTE subscribers will outnumber WiMAX subscribers by a factor of more than seven to one. “If you forget all the past hype about WiMAX and focus just on the next five years, it actually has a bright future” said TeleGeography’s Pete Bell. ‘You can expect to see WiMAX achieving average annual growth in excess of 30 percent over that period. Within the next 24 months LTE networks will have been launched by major cellular service providers in some 55 countries, with most other countries following suit over the subsequent three years, he added.

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  1. What are the pros and cons of both technology? Why does LTE seem to be preferred by the carriers over WiMax?

  2. It’s like comparing betamax and vhs. If you just sat down and watched, you had no idea which technology was used. And the media loves a horse race. But the fact is, there is little to differentiate the two and eventually WiMax towers will just support LTE as well. Why did LTE “win”? Sprint got WiMax to market first. The other carriers then seized the opportunity to spread fear and uncertainty by going with LTE. Don’t go with WiMax as it’s obsolete…wait until LTE is online.

  3. @PBlanc
    LTE is defined of the Phone industry and Wimax is defined of the Data industry, with Intel as primusmotor. That why!

    I believe there will be alot of congestion in the LTE network in the future. I will hope that Wimax still will be there to take off the mobil data press.

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