Could 4G LTE Help Reboot the Market Potential for BWA?

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3Q 2014 | IN-1019548

Could 4G LTE Help Reboot the Market Potential for BWA?


One would think that anything associated with wireless turns to gold. Mobile cellular subscriptions surpassed 7.2 billion at the end of March 2014. Handset shipments were 1.7 billion in 2013, up 5.2% year-on-year. Total number of Bluetooth devices shipped in 2013: 2.45 billion. Wi-Fi has been another great success. There are 4.2 million public Wi-Fi hotspots installed as of the end of 2013. For that same year, 161.3 million Wi-Fi access points and routers were shipped.

One segment has not met expectations: “broadband wireless access” (BWA). It has had a number of iterations: “wireless local loop” and “fixed wireless access” (FWA), which was largely a voice-centric service. In the early 1990s, operators such as Liberty, Hutchison Telecom, and Ionica struggled to successfully commercialize services. In developed markets, these FWA operators were targeting the incumbent fixed telec...

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