Shipments of mobile WiMAX chipsets were predicted to reach four million by the end of 2009 according to the latest research by Maravedis, who in partnership with Reveal Wireless released its new report “WiMAX Wave2 Subscriber Station Chipset Vendors Competitive Analysis.” Maravedis and Reveal Wireless found that the WiMAX subscriber station chipset ecosystem is acutely fragmented, with more than 14 chipset vendors competing for market share. “This puts pressure on vendors with insufficient customer traction, lacking funding or scale, or offering only partial chipset solutions,” said Adlane Fellah, Maravedis CEO and Founder and Co-author of the report.
Several early movers that entered the WiMAX market with fixed or Wave1 mobile solutions are now shipping Wave2 compliant chipsets, mainly composed of a baseband chip and companion RF transceiver IC. “However, most of the available chipsets are not highly optimized because they were compelled to cover a broad range of application segments,” noted Pascal Deriot, Senior Analyst and Co-author of the report. “We believe that WiMAX mass market adoption requires ubiquitous coverage and IOT mature, sub $10 chipsets that are power and performance optimized for each application-specific segment.”
This research provides a detailed comparison of the key WiMAX chipset vendors, identifying system architectures, estimating chipset and system BOM, cost of available devices, such as CPEs, USB dongles or Express Cards, and researching vendor product roadmaps and SWOT. The report covers over 29 baseband, RF IC and module solutions from 14 WiMAX vendors, and profiles the five key players—Beceem, GCT, Intel, Samsung and Sequans—offering an in-depth analysis of each chipset.
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The report also analyzes the difficult choices faced by small chipset players with limited budgets. The next challenge for most WiMAX chipset vendors will be to find the right balance of R&D investments in an LTE transition and a more integrated and cost-effective path for their WiMAX solution.