WiMAX makes a strong showing in Pakistan, Bangladesh

WiMAX is rapidly gaining subscribers in Pakistan and Bangladesh, where it is a key technology for providing wireless broadband access for the previously unconnected.

According to the WiMAX Forum, WiMAX is the technology delivering 50 percent of all broadband connections in Pakistan's urban centers. The nation's four WiMAX operators--Wateen Telecom, Qubee, Mobilink Infinity and Wi-Tribe--account for 29 percent of the total broadband market in a country where only 7 percent of households subscribe to any kind of broadband Internet service. Pakistan was the first country with a nationwide WiMAX network, which was established by Wateen.

"This success of the technology is unparalleled anywhere else in the world," said WiMAX Forum President Declan Byrne, addressing attendees of the group's South Asia Conference 2012 this week in Islamabad.

Wireless Internet service provider Augere, which operates WiMAX networks in both Pakistan and Bangladesh under the Qubee brand, recently reported 130 percent year-on-year growth for its combined operations, according to Telegeography. As of the end of March, Qubee was serving 125,000 customers in Bangladesh, where it had a one-year growth rate of 178 percent, and 75,000 in Pakistan, where the one-year growth rate was 70 percent.

TeleGeography said its GlobalComms Database places Qubee second in the Bangladeshi WiMAX market, behind Banglalion Communications, which served 200,000 WiMAX customers at the start of 2012.

Bangladesh is about to get a new WiMAX competitor as well. Connecticut-based NewNet Communication Technologies announced this week that Access Telecom, based in Dhaka, Bangladesh, will use NewNet's WiMAX solution as the core wireless technology behind its migration from pre-WiMAX to WiMAX technology. Access Telecom is rolling out WiMAX nationwide and will upgrade existing equipment as well as deploy new WiMAX sites, according to NewNet.

"Our rollout plans are designed to bring a high level of broadband connectivity to our customers in a very short time," said Zain Omar, CEO of Access Telecom.

For more:
- see this WiMAX Forum release  
- see this Telegeography article
- see this NewNet release (PDF)

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