Strategy Analytics said the predict that consumer WiMAX subscriptions in the developing countries of Asia will grow from a few thousand now to almost 27 million by 2013. Their research predicts that the strongest growth will come outside the major cities of Asia. Subscriptions in villages and small towns are forecast to grow at almost 300% per year, three times the rate of major cities. Government policies aimed at closing the rural-urban “digital divide” are one reason for this rapid growth, but historic lack of broadband alternatives is at least as strong a factor.
“Big cities are the obvious place to start,” says Tom Elliott, Director of EMCS and the report’s principal author. “They have high concentrations of Internet-savvy young people. But they also have a lot of competition. The real WiMAX opportunity is outside of large cities.” Packet One, a WiMAX provider in Malaysia, appears to be following such a strategy. Its first deployments in were in Kuala Lumpur, but it has moved rapidly to launch in Johor and Penang, two less densely populated states outside the capital region.
“Incumbent broadband suppliers and cellular operators offering High-Speed Packet Access, HSPA, alternatives are formidable competitors in the big cities,” notes David Kerr, head of Strategy Analytics Global Wireless Practice. “There’s simply a lot more un-served demand in market towns and provincial business centers.”
WiMAX seems to be really catching on in areas that currently don't have much infrastructure and deployments are growing. LTE better hurry up!