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WiMAX Subscriptions Surpass 20 Million Globally


WiMAX investment continues to grow with over USD $502 million spent on WiMAX equipment in 1Q2011


Beaverton, OR – August 16, 2011 – The WiMAX Forum is pleased to announce that WiMAX technology has broken the 20 million global subscriber mark. According to Infonetics Research, WiMAX technology reached a total of 20 million subscribers at the end of 2Q2011. This significant milestone comes among reports from operators around the world reporting dramatic subscriber growth.

“According to Infonetics Research, worldwide WiMAX subscribers passed the 20 million mark around the mid-point of 2011 and are on track to meet our forecast for around 25 million by the end of this year,” said Richard Webb, Directing Analyst -- WiMAX, Microwave & Mobile Devices at Infonetics Research. “Subscriber growth continues in all regions as WiMAX operators build their customer bases, but we have tracked notably strong growth in the U.S., the Indian sub-continent, and Latin America. With the levels of operator activity and device ecosystem growing, we forecast WiMAX subscribers to surpass 100 million by the end of 2015.”

In the first half of 2011 UQ Communications of Japan doubled its subscriber base, breaking the one million subscriber mark in June. Also in Asia Pacific, new Malaysian WiMAX operator YTL, which just launched WiMAX services in November of 2010, had netted over 300,000 subscribers by June. At an event in July, in which UQ Communications hosted the first public field trial of WiMAX 2, UQ and YTL signed a MoU to develop a pan-Pacific WiMAX hotzone.

"By taking advantage of WiMAX technology’s high speed access and personal Wi-Fi hotspot devices, UQ is growing its subscriber base exponentially and reached 1 million customers in June,” said Akio Nozaka, President of UQ Communications. “Having successfully completed the world's first WiMAX 2 field trial in July, UQ Communications would like to cooperate with other WiMAX operators worldwide to expand broadband wireless Internet to deal with today’s rapid growth of data traffic."

On the other side of the world, Clearwire and its wholesale partners continue to grow their subscriber base. Clearwire just announced that it ended the second quarter of 2011 with 7.65 million total subscribers, up 365% from 2Q 2010. Clearwire also again increased its guidance to an expected 10 million subscribers by the end of 2011. Also in the Americas, Jamaican operator Digicel leveraged its WiMAX network to capture 25% of the local broadband market in less than a year; and Mexican WiMAX operator AXTEL increased its WiMAX subscriber base by over 80% to over 332,000. In Europe, Irish operator Imag!ne, Bulgarian operator Max Telecom and Lithuanian operator LRTC all also made great subscriber gains and released new consumer devices.

As subscriber counts continue to grow throughout 2011, operators continue to invest in new networks and network expansions. According to Infonetics Research, in the first quarter of 2011 the total worldwide sales of WiMAX equipment reached USD $502.1 million, which is up 49% from the first quarter of 2010. In 2011 WiMAX equipment alone is expected to be a USD $2 billion industry. Investment in WiMAX technology is still flowing, and in the first half of 2011 over 30 different WiMAX networks were either launched or expanded operations.

“With over $500 million spent in the first quarter of 2011 on WiMAX RAN equipment alone, WiMAX technology is continuing to attract operators interested in bringing broadband internet to their customers immediately,” said Ron Resnick, president and chairman of the WiMAX Forum. “Consumers easily recognize the value of 4G services, and the entire industry is benefiting through strong subscriber growth and equipment and device sales.”

For more information on WiMAX technology or to become a member of the WiMAX Forum, please visit

About the WiMAX Forum®

The WiMAX Forum® is an industry-led, not-for-profit organization that certifies and promotes the compatibility and interoperability of broadband wireless products based upon IEEE Standard 802.16. The WiMAX Forum’s primary goal is to accelerate the adoption, deployment and expansion of WiMAX technologies across the globe while facilitating roaming agreements, sharing best practices within our membership and certifying products. WiMAX Forum Certified® products are interoperable and support broadband fixed, nomadic, portable and mobile services. The WiMAX Forum works closely with service providers and regulators to ensure that WiMAX Forum Certified systems meet customer and government requirements. For more information, visit