Recession hits WiMAX market

Published: December 10th, 2008

A day after the Bank of Canada declared we’re entering a recession, a market research firm predicts the troubled economy will stifle sales of WiMAX equipment next year.

Campbell, Calif.-based Infonetics Research Inc. Wednesday released its WiMAX and Wi-Fi Mesh Network Equipment and Devices report, which said WiMAX deployment “will be inhibited” for the next year, despite the recent launch of Sprint’s Clearwire service.

Several Canadian WiMAX equipment makers have been hit.

Dragonwave Inc. of Ottawa last week announced it’s laying off 20 workers while Craig Wireless announced it lost $7 million last year.

The Infonetics report said the market leader in equipment in mobile WiMAX is manufacturer Alvairion Ltd. of Tel Aviv, Israel. When combined with Motorola and Alcatel-Lucent, the three manufacturers have 60 per cent of worldwide mobile WiMAX revenue.

Telsima Corp. of Sunnyvale, Calif. and Airspan Networks Inc. of Boca Raton, Fla. lead the market for fixed WiMAX equipment sales.

WiMAX, or Wireless Interoperability for Microwave Access (WiMAX), is the standard that lets base stations, customer premise equipment and modem cards manufactured by different vendors operate on the same network. It is based on some of the 802.16 standards stipulated by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Wireless Municipal Area Networks.

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