The GSM Association (GSMA), a trade association comprised of more than 800 mobile operators, called for Taiwan to quit developing WiMAX technology and focus on the development of LTE instead. This development only adds to the stress that WiMAX has been under lately. Both WiMAX and LTE allow for wireless high speed connectivity. WIMAX, which just celebrated its 10th year anniversary, has been under pressure recently as many carriers are making the switch to LTE. According to Chris Perera, GSMA director of spectrum policy and regulatory affairs for the Asia-Pacific region, “Although local demand will drive the WiMAX market, given the smaller market size in terms of lower demand, it is in Taiwan’s best interest to focus on the manufacturing of HSPA wireless networking and LTE equipment, rather than WiMAX equipment.”
Taiwan had their sights on becoming the largest exporter of WiMAX products, but confidence in the technology has been wavering ever since Intel shut down their 4G WiMAX Program office in Taiwan last year. Intel maintains that their office in Taiwan was always temporary and was created with the intention of getting WiMAX off the ground and into the market.
What effect this news will have on the WiMAX industry is questionable. Some believe that the future of WiMAX and LTE is that the two technologies will coexist and compliment each other. WiMAX is better suited for use in rural areas and has an enormous growth potential in developing countries. WiMAX can also play a major role by providing the backhaul connections for various wireless networks including LTE.