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Tue 1 May 2007 11:36 AM

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Analysts warn of WiMAX limitations going forward

Operators using WiMAX networks will struggle to make a strong financial return in emerging markets such as the Middle East and Africa, according to market intelligence firm Analysys.

Operators using WiMAX networks will struggle to make a strong financial return in emerging markets such as the Middle East and Africa, according to market intelligence firm Analysys.

In a new report ‘The business case for WiMAX' the firm claimed that despite low levels of fixed network infrastructure and services in the region and low PC-penetration, the strength of cellular services would hinder any potential return.

"WiMAX operators and investors will have to select their targets with extreme care. Small returns in many locations make high up-front investments in network infrastructure, marketing and customer premises equipment highly risky," claimed report co-author Alastair Brydon.

The report goes on to state that while rural areas of developed markets offered an opportunity to make a healthy return, WiMAX operators would require a spectacular performance to overcome the growing capabilities of fixed-line DSL services.

"Developing markets are often cited as the prime opportunity for WiMAX networks, but voice telephony will be important to end-users in these markets and cellular services have already gained a strong foothold, fuelled by the availability of low cost handset," added co-author of the report, Mark Heath.

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