Cheaper WiMax spectrum leads to surge in licensees

Follow the money. The price paid per Hz for WiMax spectrum is 1,000 times lower than for 3G spectrum, according to the latest report from research firm Maravedis.

The much lower cost of WiMax/BWA spectrum has led to a much higher number of licenses awarded for BWA/WiMax relative to those awarded for 3G: 721 BWA/WiMax licenses awarded compared to 106 3G licenses. There are 394 BWA/WiMax license holders in North America, 186 in Europe, 97 in Asia, and 49 in the CALA (Caribbean and Latin America) region.

There are other interesting findings in Maravedis' research. For example, contrary to 3G licenses, the BWA/WiMax licenses awarded around the world are essentially regional licenses. In North America, 100 percent of the WiMax/BWA licenses are regional. In Europe and the CALA region the proportions are 78 percent and 71 percent, respectively.

All this is good news for consumers. The crowded environment will result in a more competitive marketplace with smaller, more flexible, and cost-aggressive players. The low costs of the spectrum has also attracted players with more modest pockets than large mobile operators, which means that the competitive environment may soon result in some shake out and consolidation.The report also says that most regulators have not kept pace with the progress of technology which makes fixed-mobile convergence a reality. Whether it is fixed applications with CDMA technology or mobile applications with WiMax, the two fields are converging and will be competing for a share of the one billion mobile subscribers market.

-The report may be downloaded at Maravedis Web site (registration required)

MORE: picoChip and ArrayComm will collaborate in incorporating ArrayComm's Network MIMO software into the PHY of picoChip's wireless solution. picoChip will offer the solution as a software option to its customers to add smart antennas and MIMO to their advanced WiMax basestation and subscriber station designs. ArrayComm's Network MIMO software implements the antenna processing aspects of the WiMax profiles approved by the WiMax Forum Mobile Task Group (MTG) for 802.16e. picoChip's press release.

ALSO: Santa Clara, California-based TeleCIS Wireless, a developer of WiMax fixed, portable, and mobile broadband wireless chipset technology, has secured $10 million in Series C funding, bringing the company's total funding to $18.7 million. Press release.

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