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Researcher Predicts 7 Million WiMAX Users By 2009

The competition among wireless broadband standards is strong and standard-certified WiMAX equipment won't appear until next year, but one market research firm is still predicting seven million WiMAX users by 2009.

Parks Associates said Thursday that IEEE approval of the 802.16-2004 standard will encourage growth of fixed wireless broadband. However, that growth will be slow to start, the lead research analyst said.

"This standard is exciting news for the industry," Yuanzhe (Michael) Cai, senior analyst at Parks Associates, said in a statement. "However, interoperability test and certification process both take time and on average carriers spend 6 months trialing new equipment, and therefore the market is unlikely to see volume commercial deployment until 2006."

After that, however, the number of WiMAX subscribers should start ramping up quickly, according to Cai. Cai noted that initially the wireless broadband service will succeed I Europe and Asia.