Competition from 3G

For mobile WiMAX, the most significant challenge comes from 3G technologies that are being deployed worldwide by mobile operators. Incumbent mobile operators are more likely to seek performance improvements through 3G evolution than to adopt WiMAX. New entrants and innovative challengers entering the mobile broadband market using WiMAX will have to face stiff competition from 3G operators and will have to find a way to differentiate themselves from 3G in a manner that is attractive to the users. They may have to develop innovative applications and business models to effectively compete against 3G.

For mobile WiMAX to be successful, it is important to have a wide variety of terminal devices. Embedding WiMAX chips into computers could be a good first step but may not be sufficient. Perhaps WiMAX can differentiate from 3G by approaching the market with innovative devices. Some examples could include WiMAX embedded into MP3 players, video players, or handheld PCs. Device development efforts should also include multimode devices. A variety of broadband systems will likely be deployed, and it is critical that diverse networks interoperate to make ubiquitous personal broadband services a reality. Ensuring that device development happens concomitant with network deployment will be a challenge.