The emergence of standards-based wireless interoperability for WiMax wide area broadband microwave access equipment will "lift wireless communications to new heights", analysts have predicted.
According to newly published research from Frost & Sullivan, WiMax is likely to become the third most widely used high-speed internet access technology following DSL and cable modem, which are its key competitors.
WiMax could even upstage DSL, particularly in the rural areas of Asia and eastern Europe where it is extremely expensive to deploy cable or DSL.
"Customers are more confident about accepting a specifications and standards-based product and this is tilting the balance in favour of WiMax," said Frost & Sullivan research analyst Arjun Chokkappan.
Lower costs, continuous product evolution, and flexibility in switching suppliers are driving uptake of WiMax-based products, according to the analyst.
Success in several mass markets, coupled with the increase in the number of technology providers, is also making the technology more accessible and affordable.
However, WiMax still needs to prove its capabilities in terms of quality of service. Interference within the same frequency needs immediate attention, according to Frost & Sullivan.
"This is likely to prove challenging, since the 802.16 standard operates in unlicensed spectrums," said Chokkappan. "With the number of service providers on the rise, there are greater chances of interference."
Another challenge is competition from existing technologies such as Wi-Fi, cable and DSL in which customers have invested heavily.
"Given its non-line of sight, Voice over IP, and interoperability capabilities, WiMax holds the potential to coexist with, if not upstage, current technologies," said Chokkappan.
For example, a combination of Wi-Fi and WiMax capabilities for mobile phones, laptops and PDAs is an emerging trend, the reported stated. This hybrid would provide user access through Wi-Fi and backhaul by means of WiMax.
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