From a mobile operator perspective, mobile WiMAX or 802.16e provides more of a service complement than a competitive threat, reports In-Stat. The mobile standard for WiMAX has been the subject of debate since its inception, the high-tech market research firm says. Mobile operators and vendors have disputed how this technology will impact their existing operations.

The debate can be broken into two camps. “One camp, led by select equipment vendors with no stake in WiMAX has taken an either/or approach to discussing mobile WiMAX,” says Daryl Schoolar, In-Stat analyst. “Any gain by WiMAX comes at the expense of other 3G data technologies. In the other camp, infrastructure vendors like Alcatel-Lucent, Motorola and Nokia Siemens see a world where multiple mobile wireless broadband technologies will co-exist. In-Stat believes that the latter camp’s view will prevail.”

Recent research by In-Stat found the following:

  • IMT-2000 acceptance will open new markets for 802.16e.

  • Mobile WiMAX will be more successful with laptop, external laptop adaptors and other consumer electronics than in phone handsets. It is these devices outside the handset where WiMAX provides the greatest competitive challenge to traditional cellular technologies.

  • WiMAX will create new revenue opportunities for existing mobile operators.

The research, “Complement or Threat—WiMAX Strategies for Mobile Operators,” covers the worldwide market for WiMAX and how 802.16e fits into the world of mobile operators. It discusses the impact of IMT-2000 acceptance of 802.16e as a 3G technology and examines three different mobile operators’ strategies for WiMAX. It also provides device forecasts for both 802.16e and 3G.