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Russia is One of the Worlds Top-5 WiMAX Opportunities
|18 января 2008|
According to a new report from the market research and industry analysis firm Maravedis, the Russian Federation remains among the world's top five Wireless Broadband opportunities.
The Russian economy is flourishing. GDP per capita has risen from $4000 in 1999 to $12,000 in 2006 . The demand in telecom services is rapidly outpacing the capacity of legacy infrastructure. Even now, investment in telecom is mostly coming into large cities, still leaving many places without coverage.
The report claims that over 75% of Russians still do not have access to basic dial-up Internet access. Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISPs) have the chance to tap into this latent demand for broadband connections.
"Several WISPs, such as Enforta, Quantum, and Synterra, have already launched services in numerous regions of Russia. They are enjoying early successes and considerable demand from consumers and businesses," said Adlane FELLAH, CEO and Founder of Maravedis "Our forecast for BWA shows the vast potential for this marketplace and is accompanied by an in-depth analysis of its existing wireless operators."
"Consolidation has already started among the 200 current BWA service providers in the country," said Artur MIRONENKO, analyst at Maravedis and author of the report. "After interviewing the Top 10 WISPs, we concluded that the most active players will be the cash-rich companies belonging to one of the three major holdings in Russia, namely Alfa, Sistema, and Telecom Invest, which control both fixed and mobile service providers. Others such as Enforta also benefit from a sound investment capacity."
Maravedis is convinced that the Russian Federation will remain a price-sensitive market. Mobile WiMAX needs to offer much lower prices to be competitive, as penetration of conventional broadband technologies is rapidly rising (though still at a low level). While demand for broadband services explodes, both service providers and residential users require low cost CPE ($100 range) before they fully adopt WiMAX.
Key findings include:
The accumulated WiMAX subscriber base in Russia will reach 4 million in 2012.
WiMAX subscribers will dominate by 2012 and represent around 75% of the total BWA subscriber base. The majority will be residential users and the SOHO/SME segment.
BWA/WiMAX combined equipment market size will reach $320 million in Russia in 2012, representing 5 times today's market size.
Around 70% of the BWA equipment installed during 2010 will support the 2.5 GHz and 5 GHz frequency bands.
BWA projects are still considered as high-risk and have difficulty raising capital.
By 2012, we expect at least two national BWA operators to operate in 80% of the regions.
Low PC penetration, excessive bureaucracy, and high CPE costs limit Russian BWA market growth. However, the large penetration of mobile phones might facilitate the transition to heavier broadband applications, as more users become accustomed to MMS, mobile email, etc.
Shortage of spectrum and intricate regulation contribute to delaying massive adoption of BWA/WiMAX in Russia.
Low personal incomes in many Russian regions will slow down the penetration of mobile WiMAX in rural areas.
"The most promising regions for BWA/WiMAX are Moscow city, St. Petersburg, Samara oblast, Sverdlovsk oblast, Rostov oblast, Tatarstan republic, Krasnodar krai, Tyumen oblast, Chelyabinsk oblast, and Bashkortostan republic. The Central region will concentrate one-third of total subscribers," finished Mironenko.