WiMAX may be a fading term, but it was all the rage just a few years ago. With Sprint
onboard here in the the U.S., and numerous other carriers jumping onboard elsewhere, it looked to be the true next-gen wireless format to overtake 3G. But then, LTE happened. That format offered far higher speeds compared to 3G networks, and with all of these format wars, it's all about support and momentum. History has sort of written itself sense, with Verizon, AT&T, and now even Sprint making the decision that LTE is going to be their 4G option of choice. ABI Research has recently found that in the monitoring of early LTE progress, that format is already overtaking the gains that WiMAX had from being first.
In South Korea, the United States, and Japan, the number of LTE subscribers surpassed that of WiMAX
subscribers in 4Q11, 1Q12, and 2Q12, respectively. The findings are part of new market data from market intelligence firm ABI Research detailing the mobile broadband transition.
"Japan, South Korea, and the United States used to have strong mobile WiMAX proponents, so while the momentum and future of WiMAX and LTE are clear, it is somewhat surprising to see how long the subscriber crossover has actually taken," says research director Phil Solis. "In mid-2014, even subscribers to LTE in TDD mode will have surpassed WiMAX subscribers at which point WiMAX subscribers will begin their permanent, slow decline."
Now that practically every Android phone and Windows Phone handset ships with an LTE modem, coupled with the fact that the new iPhone
5 also uses LTE, it's pretty much a given that LTE is going nowhere but up. And with speeds besting even some home internet connections, we aren't surprised. One has to wonder how long it'll be before LTE is surpasses by something even greater, no?