Analysts Split Over HSDPA Vs WiMax

Ovum analyst Julien Grivolas expects faster third-generation mobile services to become mainstream consumer service by 2008. The analyst firm believes users of High-Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) in Western Europe will grow to 16.5 million in two years and 50 million through 2010. Grivolas ascribed the high estimated uptake to the reality that HSDPA recycles the spectrum already utilized for 3G base technology, Universal Mobile Telecommunications System. This development, he said, could dampen the pace of adoption of WiMax. “In areas where HSDPA becomes widely available, like Western Europe, and where well-suited spectrum for 802.16e [mobile WiMax] is rare, the window of opportunity for mobile WiMax will be quite limited,” Grivolas remarked. Dean Bubley of Disruptive Analysis disagreed with Grivolas’ view, saying that WiMax would enjoy more success because it will not necessitate a backhaul upgrade to maximize the high speeds that it can deliver. In addition, “many cellular operators have a Walled Garden mindset, whereas possibly mobile WiMax plays better to the 21st century view of the world, where connectivity and services should be decoupled,” he stated.
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