Here is another advantage WiMAX and metro WiFi have over cellular: Both technologies are more energy cost effective, according to a report by ABI Research. This is good news as worries about the increasing cost of energy mount and as carriers move to high-data-rate mobile broadband access.
The research firm's report, "Energy Efficiency Analysis for Mobile Broadband Solutions," says that energy costs represent the third most significant operating expense (OPEX) for cellular carriers, and spikes in energy costs present business planners with difficult choices. What is more, the inexorable move to higher data rates, and thus the increase in energy required per subscriber resulting from increasing data uptake, will push the ever-important per-subscriber energy OPEX for cellular solutions beyond an economically acceptable threshold. The solution to this energy crunch: Carriers should consider moving from a traditional cellular-only approach to one which integrates WiMAX and metro WiFi.
ABI's Stuart Carlaw says: "From a pure coverage perspective WiMAX is twice as energy-cost-effective and metro WiFi is 50 times more energy-cost-effective than WCDMA. When data traffic is factored into the equation, WiMAX can accommodate 11 times today's average data consumption and still be more energy-cost-efficient compared to WCDMA or HSDPA."
Note that another ABI study found that the total energy consumption resulting from mobile broadband service delivery is expected to grow from 42.8 billion kilowatt hours (KWh) in 2005 to 124.4 billion KWh in 2011.
For more on the energy advantage of WiFi-WiMAX:
- see the ABI Research website