Broadcom, Sequans and GCT Have 83 percent of Mobile WiMAX Market

Beceem (now Broadcom), Sequans and GCT accounted for 83 percent of the total mobile WiMAX chipset market in 2010, according to 4Ggear Quarterly Report from Maravedis.The report said the average selling price of a 4G chipset is $13 in 2011 and is expected to plateau at $10 in a couple of years. Further price decreases will be gradual as WiMAX chipset volumes may not grow due to increased LTE penetration.

Indoor modems represented 24 percent of WiMAX units activated in 2010. USB dongles, PC cards, and netbooks/laptops accounted for 52 percent, while activated handsets amounted to 24 percent.

Shipments of mobile WiMAX chipsets reached 15 million in 2010, up from 5 million in 2009, according to the first issue of the 4GgearQuarterly Report  from Maravedis.

The 2010 surge in mobile WiMAX device and chipset shipments, the total WiMAX chipset market is partly the result of the addition of 7.7 million WiMAX subscribers during the year,” said Vikram Krishnamurthy, author of the report.

However the overall picture is mixed. Shipments of WiMAX devices increased in 2010 but will be impacted by WiMAX carriers planning a move to LTE,” Krishnamurthy added.

On the LTE side, shipments of LTE chipsets in 2010 were in low volumes, but are expected to reach 10 million units in 2011. There are now a large number of players in the base-band chipset landscape but consolidation is well under way. Some LTE chipsets have been sampled (Altair, GCT, Sequans, and Cavium Networks), and others will follow in Q411 (Beceem, now Broadcom).

Interestingly, the early incumbent LTE chipset suppliers may have a meaningful time to market advantage in the dual-mode 3G/4G chipset market,” said Fernando Donoso, Team Leader for the 4Ggear service. While LTE incumbent providers focus on sampling dual-mode chipsets, new entrants position themselves as technology drivers, delivering early LTE-only solutions.”

The development of the LTE modem itself is not the most complex aspect of the global LTE picture. Interoperability, seamless hand over, architecture expertise and management of the different bands across the world may be the most challenging obstacles facing LTE chipset suppliers.

By Team

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