News From Telecom World

Advantage of WiMAX over 3G

Posted on: September 22, 2008

Intense lobbying by GSM players against the introduction of wireless broadband has been the biggest hurdle in the baptism of the latest wireless broadband technology, WiMax, widely considered a killer technology that could bring corporal damage on cellular companies. WiMax has several advantages over 3G. It offers download speeds up to 70 mega bits per second (mbps), five times times faster than 3G’s 15 mbps. Mobile WiMax, whose first network rolled out in Italy in July this year, is in direct conflict with 3G as it allows users speeds of up to 20 mbps while on the move. Given that WiMax
packages will come for unlimited usage at a fixed price, a WiMax handset using VoIP eliminates the need for voice telephony over cellcos’ networks.

Though the cost of WiMax network rollouts of $50-60 per line are only marginally lower than current GSM rollout rates of around $55-65 per line, WiMax, being a newer technology, is expected to see a sharper drop in cost of equipment as global subscriber numbers grow. According to Canada’s research and analysis firm Maravedis, the worldwide broadband wireless access (BWA)/WiMax subscriber base increased from 260,246 in the first quarter of 2008 to 1,988,246 subscribers. “Even with an increase of more than 19 per cent in WiMax subscribers in the first quarter of 2008, operators are still waiting for the tipping point that will lead to acceleration of WiMax adoption and deployments,” says Adiane Fellah, CEO and founder of Maravedis.

Also, while WiMax handsets cost around Rs 40,000-45,000 against 3G handset cost of upwards of Rs 24,000 per unit, prices are expected to drop as volumes rise. That’s when the two technologies will engage each other in the final battle for supremacy.

Source: Business World

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