WiMax deployments ramp globally, but U.S. lags

WiMax appears to be a hit around the world---except for the U.S., according to deployment data released by the WiMax Forum Monday.

WiMax appears to be a hit around the world---except for the U.S., according to deployment data released by the WiMax Forum Monday.

WiMax, also known as 4G, now is offered on networks covering 620 million people in 147 countries, said the WiMax forum. By the end of 2010, 800 million people will be covered with 1 billion by the end of 2011. The 2011 time frame is notable because that's when long-term evolution networks, a WiMax rival technology, will begin to ramp.

The data, however, indicates that WiMax is a global effort, but lags in North America. For instance, Clearwire is the main champion of WiMax in the U.S. and largely responsible for the deployments. Clearwire has some big backers like Intel, Google and others and partners like Comcast and Sprint, but can't carry the load by itself.

Here's a look at WiMax Forum's data (statement) by region:

  • Asia Pacific: 237 million people covered and 100 network deployments.
  • Central/Latin America: 113 million people covered and 109 deployments.
  • Africa/Middle East: 108 million people covered with 142 deployments.
  • Europe: 115 million people with 153 deployments.
  • North America: 47 million people with 51 deployments.

And a look via WiMax maps:

Clearwire expects that it will have 120 million people covered by the end of 2010 so there will be some catching up underway.

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