Is WiMAX out of 4G race ?

I found the recent reports on HSPA and WiMAX users data very interesting. Does the reports indicate that the WiMAX is out of 4G race ? Pl go thru -

As per the GSM Association reports - The number of live HSPA (High Speed Packet Access) connections will pass 150 million globally this summer, while according to a report published by Marvedis this week WiMAX has just 3.5 million users. This puts HSPA firmly ahead of other mobile broadband technologies.

As per Wireless Intelligence reports , EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) have 49.5 million HSPA users currently and almost 60 million predicted by the end of the summer. Asia-Pacific is a close second at 47.7 million subscribers and by the end of September will have over 56 million. The U.S. trails significantly, with about 32 million HSPA connections growing to perhaps 37 million by September, while the rest of the Americas will hit just over four million subscribers in the same time frame.

Why HSPA may be a prefered choice to operators -
HSPA is an attractive option for mobile operators as the technology allows operators to upgrade their existing 3G networks, often by simply upgrading the software. This gives HSPA a leg up over WiMAX, which requires new network infrastructure. Further, its performance rates are attractive, as well. HSPA download rates range from 3.6 Mbps to 14.4 Mbps, and a handful of operators are beginning to roll out 21 Mbps using HSPA+.

The GSMA reports that there are more than 300 upgraded networks across 127 countries. More than 1500 HSPA-enabled devices are on the market. Its rapid adoption — faster even than SMS — has led the organization to embrace HSPA as the dominant mobile broadband technology.

The report expects growth to continue at a rapid pace, predicting 200 million connections by the first quarter of 2010.

Clearwire pushing WiMAX in USA

Clearwire Communications is moving forward WiMAX deployment in the United States at a quick pace, announcing the latest launch of its mobile WiMAX service, CLEAR, in Las Vegas, Nev., just one month after its Atlanta, Ga. service rollout. The new service covers approximately 638 square miles, making WiMAX available to an estimated 1.7 million people.

Providing backhaul for the 4G service is Ciena Corporation. Motorola is the end-to-end system provider for this launch. In addition to providing 4G connectivity with wired and wireless modems operating in the 2.5 GHz frequency band, more than 300 cell sites in the Las Vegas area utilize the company's WAP 400 Diversity Access Point product.

Pricing options start at $20 per month for home Internet service or $30 per month for mobile Internet. Customers can purchase day passes for $10

Indian GSM operators add 9 million users in June

India’s GSM-based mobile operators added close to nine million users in June, up from 8.3 million in May, as per the data released by GSM operators’ body. The GSM subscriber base stood at 315.7 million in June end. The data compiled by Cellular Operators’ Association of India (COAI) does not include user figures for GSM operator Reliance Telecom. As per COAI, GSM operator Bharti Airtel led in terms of user additions in June, acquiring 2.8 million subscribers. It became the first operator to cross the 100-million subscriber mark, ending the month with 102.3-million users.

China surpasses USA in web users population

China's population of Web users hits 338 million, surpassing population of the United States

The country's rapid economic growth and expansion of Internet access in more areas has fueled a sharp increase in Internet users, totaling 338 million by the end of June, a government-sanctioned research group said. The latest U.S. Census Bureau's figure says the population of the U.S. is just under 307 million. China's population is more than 1.3 billion. China's population of Internet users has been growing at explosive rates despite government efforts to block access to material deemed subversive or pornographic.

But Internet penetration is still only 25.5 percent. The Pew Internet and American Life Project places U.S. online penetration at more than 70 percent. Internet use on mobile phones has increased 32.1 percent since the beginning of the year to 155 million led by rising use by rural dwellers, the report said. China this year rolled out its third-generation mobile phone service — which supports wireless Web surfing — which is expected to set off a new surge in Internet use.

UK telecom market sees its first quaterly net loss of mobile customers

­In Q1 09, the UK mobile market saw its first quarterly net loss of customers for three years. The total customer base contracted by 0.56m to finish the quarter on 75.59m, equivalent to a penetration rate of 123.8%. The proportionate annual growth rate fell to 3.9% from 4.9% a year earlier, and in fact this was the second lowest rate ever seen in the UK market, the lowest being the 3.1% recorded in 2006. This may not be indicative of a long-term decline in growth, however. The Q4 06 figure of 3.1% was followed by eight quarters in which annual growth hovered around 5%, and the Q1 09 rate may prove to be a similar blip.

The greatest loss in Q1 09 was suffered by Vodafone, which shed 0.45m customers to take its total to 18.72m. A year earlier Vodafone was the UK's market leader (if we exclude O2's customers through its Tesco MVNO), but at the end of Q1 09 it was 0.86m adrift of O2. Although its second place remains secure, this was the biggest quarterly decline in customers Vodafone has ever seen. On an annual basis, it added just 0.18m.

However, T-Mobile's annual performance was even worse, a 0.26m loss taking its total customer base back under 10m for the second time, with an end-quarter figure of 9.99m. Its Q1 09 loss stood at 0.21m. Virgin, which operates as an MVNO on T-Mobile's network, was the only other major operator to lose customers in Q1 09, a 94.3k decline taking its base to 4.02m. This was its fifth successive quarterly decline, and on an annual basis it lost 0.41m customers. The other operators may not have lost customers, but they did not perform well. O2 top-scored with a gain of just 110.6k, which took its total base to 19.58m. Tesco added around 40k to break the 2m barrier, Orange was up 32k to 16.44m and Hutchison gained half this number to finish on 4.43m.

The ARPU figures provided no respite from this somewhat gloomy picture. O2 was down 19.6% to €24.20 and T-Mobile down 19.2% to €21, although the strengthening of the Euro had a part to play here. Vodafone was also down, losing 3.7% to record £20.80, whilst Orange was up 1.1% to £22.58, although its rolling annual average figures obscure the real quarterly trend.

Mobile broadband expected to reach 418m Worldwide by 2017

­Newly released forecasts from Coda Research Consultancy's report show that portable laptop and netbook users accessing the internet via mobile broadband will produce US$48bn in operator revenues in 2017, will number 418m worldwide, and will generate and consume an immense 1.8 exabytes of traffic per month - a forty fold increase over 2009.

The most significant growth will occur in the Asia-Pacific region, where users will amount to 162m by 2017. Europe will account for 94m users, and North America for 58m users. Impacts of Long Term Evolution (LTE) will be dramatic, with half of all mobile broadband via netbook and laptop users employing LTE worldwide in 2017. LTE users will hit 38m in 2013 after a ramp up in LTE production in 2012, and will rise to 209m by 2017, a 1100% increase over 2012. Three quarters of users in Europe and nearly two thirds of users in North America will employ LTE in 2017. This contrasts with just over half of users in Asia Pacific, and 12% in Central and South America. LTE take up will be greatly skewed toward European and North American markets in the short to medium term, where ARPU will be highest. However, report envisage significant take up in China, and see countries like India bypass 3G altogether, and move straight to LTE.

More generally, mobile broadband user growth will not correspond with operator revenue growth, particularly in less wealthy regions of Asia-Pacific, thus significantly impacting mobile broadband ARPU. For example, operator revenues from Asia Pacific will grow at only 50% of the rate of users, which contrasts with 63% for Europe. The silver lining however, is that LTE ARPU will be 17% higher than for mobile broadband in general.

LTE operator revenues will be greatest in Europe, where they will rise by a CAGR of 47% from 2012 to 2017, and will form 83% of all mobile broadband revenues in that region. LTE revenues from North America will grow significantly more, at a CAGR of 59% between 2012 and 2017, and LTE will form 72% of its mobile broadband revenues. In contrast, LTE revenues will form only 13% of all mobile broadband revenues in Middle East and Africa.

LTE usage via portables will lead to more traffic per user than for mobile broadband in general. This will further increase pressure upon network capacity, and will hit 1.1 exabytes per month in 2017. Asia Pacific alone will take up 45% of this, whilst Europe will take up a third, and North America 17%.

Video will dominate mobile broadband traffic to and from portables, and will account for over half (53%) of traffic by 2017. The bad news for rights' holders is that one fifth of all traffic will be P2P. Nearly half of video traffic (47%) and nearly two thirds of P2P traffic will be consumed in Asia Pacific. This reflects the dominant position this region will play in mobile broadband usage and how mobile broadband will continue to be the sole vehicle for many people to gain broadband connectivity in developing countries such as India and China.

In summing up the report's forecasts, Steve Smith said, "Clearly, tremendous opportunities for both operators and device and component vendors exist, but the risks are significant. With enormous growth in traffic and considerable decline in ARPU, operators will need to be ruthlessly efficient. Asia Pacific is going to be the hotbed for growth, but it is a complex picture of emerging markets, developed markets and even markets that will leapfrog 3G altogether. LTE is going to be an important cushion for operators, but our research shows they will need to take into account the very different factors impacting 3G and 3G+ growth across regions and decide carefully how, when and where to market LTE."

Encouraging number portability results in Israel

Since we are looking forward towards introduction of number portability in India, I thought this information would be interesting - Over 600,000 Mobile Numbers Ported in Israel Since MNP Introduced.

­Over a year and a half since number portability plan was implemented in Israel, 607,000 mobile subscribers and 418,000 fixed subscribers have switched companies, reports the Ministry of Communications.

According to figures from the Mobile World, Israel ended Q1 '09 with an estimated 8.7 million mobile phone subscribers, with an additional 500,000 subscribers from the Palestinian Territories.

Silver lining for fixed access opearators - Mobile broadband in UK fail to live upto expectation

­According to the latest data from the UK broadband comparison website Broadband Genie, only around one in ten (11 per cent) mobile broadband users are satisfied with the speed of their mobile broadband. While around a quarter were undecided, two thirds claimed their 3G broadband wasn't fast enough. According to Genie - Mobile Broadband Fails Miserably to Live Up to Consumer Expectations. The public perception of mobile broadband is often of a service that is comparable in speed and stability to fixed-line broadband, which simply isn't the case - and won't be for the foreseeable future. Exaggerated advertising and unrealistic 'up to' speed claims have given the public a rose-tinted idea of mobile broadband that the service cannot, in most cases, hope to live up to.

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