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Thu 26 Apr 2007 10:57 AM

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Time is right for WiMax, says Moto

Fledgling technology WiMax could do for the data market in the region what cellular technology has done for voice, according to a senior executive at Motorola.

Fledgling technology WiMax could do for the data market in the region what cellular technology has done for voice, according to a senior executive at Motorola.

With the opening up of the telecoms sector in the region and the awarding of new licences, there is a fantastic opportunity for wireless broadband to take off as operators look for the latest cutting edge technology with which to offer their products and services, said Noel Kirkaldy, Motorola's director for wireless broadband in MEA.

"The market that has really suffered [in the region] is wireless broadband communications growth which in a number of countries is still in the 3 to 5% range. That is where we feel that the WiMax technologies will have the most dramatic effect coming into this region to change that penetration level, to provide wireless broadband communication to users that don't have any other form of communications," he said. "We believe WiMax could have the same impact on the data market as cellular had on voice."

The Saudi market, in particular, is ripe for uptake of the technology, Kirkaldy claimed. "In Saudi Arabia, only 1% of households have access to wireless broadband communications or any form of broadband communications [while] close to 78% of the market have some form of mobile communications," he said, adding that it will be these larger markets that have not had liberalisation that will benefit most from new operators.

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