WiMAXBroadband Wireless Access (BWA)/WiMAX subscriber growth averaged 16.5% worldwide on a quarter over quarter basis in 1Q09 with the addition of some 560,000 subscribers, according to research firm Maravedis.  Released yesterday as part of its 4GCounts subscription service, the number of BWA/WiMAX subscribers worldwide has grown 74% year-over-year.

Global service revenue for BWA/WiMAX service operators is rising along with growing subscriber bases and a weaker US dollar after a slowdown in the wake of the financial systems crisis and recession.  “Global service revenue growth is going up as WiMAX operators experience increase in subscriber growth, and the gradual appreciation of most currencies against the US$,”  Maravedis CEO and founder Adlane Fellah stated in a news release.

“The first part of 2009 was difficult for WiMAX because of the economic recession, however in Q2 2009 we saw many operators recovering from the subscriber and revenue slowdown they experienced in previous quarters,” noted Cintia Garza, co-author of the report.

Open Internet access is pushing wireless service operators to add bandwidth capacity–incumbents cell phone network operators to LTE and “greenfield” operators to push for more rapid returns on their WiMAX deployments, added Robert Syputa, a Maravedis senior partner.

“LTE is considered today by many mobile operators as the main option to address the need for higher bandwidth services.  However the technology is experiencing continuous delays in terms of the availability of LTE devices and lack of harmonized spectrum; many operators are eager to continue profiting from their current CDMA/HSPA networks before they invest huge sums into next generation networks,” explained report co-author Basharat Ashai.

Other findings in the report include:

  • Mobile traffic is growing at an extraordinarily rapid rate worldwide– global mobile traffic increased 30% monthly in 2Q09 as compared to monthly growth in 1Q09;
  • Clearwire continues to lead the BWA/WiMAX field in terms of subscriber base;
  • WiMAX ARPU was $39.50 for residential and US$121.80 for business market segments in 2Q09 as compared to US$36.70 and US$111.74 in 1Q09;
  • Accounting for 32% of mobile bandwidth globally, HTTP browsing is mobile broadband subscribers’ most popular application globally and in every individual region;
  • 45 new devices obtained WiMAX Forum certification in 2Q09– 18 notebooks, 4 cards, 12 USB dongles and 3 chipsets, as well as other devices;
  • 37% of the top 35 mobile operators who have committed to LTE are planning a commercial rollout in 2010, 29% in 2011, 25% in 2012, and 9% have not confirmed their intentions.

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