More WiMAX Products from Cellular Modem Vendors are a Sign of WiMAX Growth to Come

Cellular modem vendors are typically the first companies to produce WWAN products based on the latest technologies. The newest WWAN air interfaces have always seen their introduction in external cellular modems first, followed by miniCards (mini-PCI in the past) for embeddeding into laptops (and now netbooks, MIDs, smartbooks, tablets, e-readers, etc. as well). Sierra Wireless launched its OverDrive 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot on Sprint's network last month. Novatel Wireless announced its MiFi Intelligent Mobile Hotspot with WiMAX, which should be shipping in the second half of 2010.

The fact that the large cellular modem vendors are entering the market is a sign - among other signs and proof - that the WiMAX market is starting to take off. This year, Clearwire will build out its network to the point where its network will expand its population coverage from about 36 million (by ABI Research's estimates) to 120 million people. That is a nice market to sell to into within the United States while they wait for LTE networks to launch.