The Optimistic Growth of WiMAX Terminal Industry

As an important part of the WiMAX industry, terminals have become increasingly mature in terms of their equipment manufacturers, chip manufacturers, terminal manufacturers and operators, in recent years.

In most commercial cases, it is the WiMAX equipment manufacturers who provide end-to-end solutions. Terminals, whether self-owned brand or OEM, are provided to the operators together. Therefore, the equipment manufacturers have contributed a lot to the development of the terminal industry. Some system vendors mainly rely on terminal products based on self-research, such as ZTE, Motorola, Samsung, Alvarion, etc; others usually adopt the terminals through cooperation with terminal manufactures, such as Alcatel-lucent, HW, etc.

 On Mobile World Congress Barcelona 2009, these equipment manufacturers showcased diversified terminals.


Figure 1 Some terminals showcased on Mobile World Congress Barcelona 2009

In recent years, WiMAX terminal chip manufacturers have grown at a remarkable pace. Two pacemakers, Sequans and Beceem, have seen increasing shipment. Terminal chips such as Sequans SQN1130 and Beceem BCS200 have become mature enough to withstand large scale commercial network. With great achievements in first generation chips in the market, chip manufacturers are launching their second generation chips, such as BCSM250 and BCS5200 launched by Beceem, SQN1210 and SQN1220 launched by Sequans, Nelson Peak by Intel, GDM7205(2.5G) and GDM7213 (3.5G) by GCT, and WiMAX mobile phone chip MT7108 by MTK. These second generation chips are highly integrated, with remarkably reduced power consumption, supporting full-band frequency, applicable to data card, USB Dongle, CPE, MID, embedded notebook and WiMAX mobile phone, etc.further facilitating the development by terminal manufacturers and terminal diversification.


Figure 2 Beceem launched BSCM250

WiMAX terminal manufacturers have undergone their development more and more smoothly with the deployment of a large number of commercial networks in 2008 and 2009. With government support to WiMAX, a dozen of WiMAX terminal manufacturers have appeared in Taiwan, Quanda, including Zyxel, Gemtek, Jstream, AWB, USI, Asus, Tecom and Alpha, which have distributed their products across the world.

WiMAX operators, due to different service types, have different needs for WiMAX terminal types, primarily including card, USB and CPE. However, in North America, Japan, West Europe and other high-end markets, there are different needs for embedded notebook, handset, multimodal card, MID and UMPC, etc.

As a leader in WiMAX industry, ZTE is one of the few manufacturers capable of providing end-to-end solutions. Through self-research and cooperation, ZTE has launched diversified terminals that can satisfy the requirement of different operators.

Table 1 ZTE's different terminals for operators with different requirement

 Currently ZTE has established 5 independent IOT laboratories and offers the IOT test platform to WiMAX terminal manufactures and awards test certificates to them, providing operators with more terminal choices for large-scale commercial use. By now, ZTE has conducted IOT tests with more than 30 terminal device suppliers.

ZTE, as a member of the WiMAX Forum, is proactively pushing the industry for more healthy development.