A research firm says revenue from WiMAX equipment sales are off to a good start, with a nearly eight-fold increase expected this year.
According to Infonetics, which studied the worldwide WiMAX market (define), equipment revenue in 2004 totaled $16.4 million. The firm said it expects WiMAX revenue to increase to $124.5 million in 2005.
At the moment, WiMAX is being deployed most in wireless backhaul (define) settings, though Infonetics says more mobile applications of the technology are expected once the WiMAX standard, 802.16e, is ratified.
The firm also released some figures on outdoor mesh network access nodes, meant to provide seamless wireless coverage across large areas. Sales in that area totaled $8.8 million in 2004, with expected growth to $110.4 million in 2005.
"WiMAX promises many strategic opportunities, not just as a backhaul solution for WiFi, delivering additional bandwidth to hotspots, but potentially for 3G networks too," said Richard Webb, author of the report. "WiMAX may become a viable DSL/cable broadband replacement technology for consumers, and may even offer nomadic or portable wireless Internet access for consumers and enterprise users. Operators could also use it to carry VoIP services."