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WiMAX Carriers' Positive Outlook on Sub Growth Boosts Taiwan's WiMAX CPE Industry in 3Q 09, Says MIC
December 11, 2009

According to research of the Taipei-based Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute (MIC) conducted as part of the ITIS project, Taiwanese WiMAX CPE (Customer Premises Equipment) industry shipment volume reached 844,500 units in the third quarter of 2009, representing 56.7% sequential growth and 236.5% year-on-year growth. The industry's shipment value reached US$68.8 million in the third quarter. The substantial growth can be ascribed to WiMAX carriers' positive outlook for subscriber growth in 2010, compared with the relatively conservative stance in 2009, and these carriers have therefore shown increasing demand for WiMAX CPE. In addition, the price tags of WiMAX CPE have dropped to a level acceptable to the carriers, which also played an instrumental role in the growth of WiMAX CPE shipment volume.

Thanks to the maturation of network deployment, the quality of signal coverage and network connections has seen significant improvement, therefore enhancing subscribers' satisfaction with WiMAX services and boosting the willingness to adopt WiMAX. At the same time, owing to the rapid price drops of WiMAX access devices such as indoor and outdoor CPE and USB dongles, WiMAX carriers were able to plan more cost-effective service packages as the burden of subsidies for CPE was lessened. ASP (Average Selling Price) of Taiwanese WiMAX CPE shipments has come down to around US$81.5 in the third quarter of 2009, down from US$147.2 a year ago.

Judging from these development trends, it can be seen that the improvement of network quality and the lowering of device prices are conducive to subscriber and shipment growth. As most WiMAX carriers worldwide are still in the initial phase of network deployment, it is projected that there will be two to three more years of rapid development before subscriber saturation.

In the third quarter, 802.16e products were the predominant type of shipment, representing a share of over 98% in the industry's overall shipment volume. In terms of function, indoor CPE was the leading shipment with a share of 43.5%, followed by USB dongles with 23.6%. Outdoor CPE shipment represented a share of 13.9%, while the shipment share of other types of devices reached 19%, among which WiMAX modules for use mobile Internet access devices emerged as the most significant type of shipment. More than 30 models of WiMAX-enabled notebook and netbook PCs have already been launched in the market. It is expected that the number of WiMAX-enabled mobile Internet devices will continue to grow along with the maturation of WiMAX networks. Therefore, it is projected that WiMAX module shipment volume will see further growth in 2010.

According to MIC Industry Analyst Xiang-Yu Yen, "currently most major WiMAX carriers or system integrators seek to transplant their network deployment experience, CPE testing experience, and business models to other regions. It is expected that in 2010, WiMAX carriers, branded equipment vendors, and system integrators will wield greater bargaining power for CPE prices by leveraging economies of scale." Mr. Yen added, "as a result, Taiwanese CPE makers will see gradual declines in gross profits and will have to expand production volume and market share so as to maintain their lead in the market. At the same time, it is expected that Korean and Chinese equipment companies will continue to make gains in market share. However, as they mostly have their own production operations and rarely outsource production to Taiwanese makers, it will pose a crucial task for Taiwanese makers to break into their supply chains so as to boost shipment volume."

It is projected that boosted by growth in Russia, India, and North America, Taiwanese WiMAX CPE shipment volume will top 1.1 million units in the fourth quarter of 2009. Looking ahead to 2010, with the expansion of WiMAX service coverage in North America, issuance of spectrum licenses in India, and further promotion of WiMAX services in Brazil, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines, it is forecasted that Taiwanese WiMAX CPE shipment volume will continue to grow in the first three quarters of 2010.


More information can be found in the following MIC report: The Taiwanese WiMAX Industry, 4Q 2009


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About MIC

Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute (MIC), based in Taipei, Taiwan, was founded in 1987. MIC is Taiwan's premier IT industry research and consulting firm providing intelligence, in-depth analysis, and strategic consulting services on global IT product and technology trends, focusing on markets and industries in Asia-Pacific. MIC is part of the Institute for Information Industry.

About ITIS

The Industry and Technology Intelligence Services (ITIS) project is managed by the Department of Industrial Technology of Taiwan's Ministry of Economic Affairs. As part of the project, research is conducted in a variety of fields, including the ICT sector. The project serves both the public and private sector.