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WiMax Presents Opportunities, Not Threats, to Satellite

06 августа 2007
Recently DIRECTV and EchoStar shook the satellite industry by unveiling joint plans to work with Clearwire for a WiMax solution. This week, Sprint Nextel took the wraps off an agreement with the company to expand the deployment of its nationwide mobile WiMax network plans. So with Clearwire working with the nation's DBS companies and with multiplatform competitors, how will WiMax services impact the satellite industry?

Not to fear, suggests a new report, because WiMax will actually present more opportunities for satellite than it will create market threats. The study, issued by NSR, said satellite backhaul, DBS triple play efforts and ancillary terrestrial component (ATC) spectrum will in fact generate greener pastures for satellite-WiMax demand.

The research firm's new study, "WiMax: Opportunity or Threat for Satellite Communications," says satellite-WiMax "inter-working" will produce a variety of distinct opportunities, ranging from C-band and Ku-band satellite backhaul in developing regions and remote areas, to DBS WiMax triple play retail bundles in mature satellite TV markets. Other areas of opportunity include lowering capex and installation costs per broadband users via satelltie WiMax integration at the VSAT, to a satellite derivative of mobile WiMax potentially applied to hybrid satellite/wireless handsets using ATC spectrum.

"WiMAX momentum and high-growth expectations will prompt satellite players to leverage the distance indifference and quick deployment characteristics of satellite services to opportunistically address supply-demand disruptions in backhaul bandwidth requirements," the study said. "Two-tier satellite-WiMAX backhaul also presents leapfrog advantages in developing regions and remote areas that lack terrestrial broadband infrastructure."

The NSR study also suggests the WiMAX play and the role for satellites will be largely shaped by triple play and quad-play battles aiming to integrate service offerings. "WiMAX is a newcomer to the triple play game, and cross-platform complementary offerings such as DBS-WiMAX bundles will continue taking place," said Christopher Baugh, NSR president. "These deals will facilitate the introduction of triple and quad-play services in an increasingly technology-agnostic way."


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