Fujitsu expects WiMax sale to soar €770m by 2011

Fujitsu is aiming for 100 billion yen €770 million (US$1 billion) in sales of its WiMax microchips in the year starting April 2011, up from virtually none in the year ended March 31, a Reuters report said.

WiMax services will be launched on a commercial basis as early as this year in Taiwan.

In Japan, a group led by KDDI plans to start WiMax operations next year.

The Reuters report quoted Makoto Awaga, general manager of Fujitsu's microchip unit, as saying that Fujitsu expects its power-efficient communication chips to drive the company's overall WiMax chip sales.

The WiMax chip sales target of 100 billion yen is about 2% of Fujitsu's total revenues in the year to March 2008 of 5.3 trillion yen (US$500 billion).

Awaga said the number of WiMax users globally is likely to reach up to 50 million by 2012.

'By 2011 or 2012, certain progress should have been made on commercial operations, and various services will have become available,' Awaga said.

'Counting users in the US, Japan, BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India and China), Asia, and part of Europe, the number will probably be about 40 to 50 million.'

Awaga said, despite expectations by some industry specialists, WiMax may not be competing with another high-speed telecommunications technology called Long Term Evolution to be the fourth-generation mobile phone standard of choice.