While WiMAX has gained in developing countries, its future looks more doubtful in the developed world, according to a note by Terry Norman, a senior analyst at Analysis Mason.

“In the USA, Sprint is rolling out a national WiMAX network through its majority shareholding in Clearwire, but the growth in number of subscribers has been disappointing,” writes Norman. “Google and Intel, among others, have already written off billions of dollars they had invested in Clearwire….Also, it appears that the North American CDMA operators may move to LTE, rather than to WiMAX.”

Norman also notes Ericsson’s purchase of Nortel’s interests in CDMA and LTE will and Huawei’s promotion of LTE at a new lab in Texas as factors encouraging LTE adoption in North America. In Europe, he expects operators to migrate from 3G to 4G LTE.

A conclusion based on research with leading mobile network operators in Europe: “None of the operators interviewed hinted that they might adopt WiMAX, now that LTE is imminent. They see WiMAX as a technology to be deployed in an ad hoc fashion in developing countries.” (For full comment, click here.)

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