The coming year will be pivotal in terms of deployment of new and improved wireless broadband technologies but 3G cellular data service will dominate over the next few years, according to a market study by Northern Sky Research.
The study noted, for instance, that the first commercial deployments of fully certified WiMAX will occur in 2006 and that significant progress will be made in establishing the 802.16e standard for mobile WiMAX. The study predicted 500,000 users will have signed up for fixed officially-standardized WiMAX service by the end of 2006.
In addition, the study predicted ratification of the 802.11n Wi-Fi standard in 2006, despite recent contention over the shape of the standard. As two previous proposals were about to be harmonized, a group led by Intel offered yet another standard proposal.
Also, the study predicted that ultra-wideband (UWB) products for consumers will be released in 2006, as will ZigBee-enabled products typically to be used for tasks such as home automation.
Despite all the new technology, however, the study predicted that 3G data service offered by cellular operators will be the most widely used type of wireless broadband.
"With over 1.2 billion 3G subscribers projected by 2010, it is clear that 3G will be the leading broadband wireless technology over the next five years in this increasingly competitive market," Christopher Baugh, president of Northern Sky Research, said in a statement. "3G currently has a 3-year time to market advantage over mobile WiMAX and will likely reinforce its lead with the emergence of new 3G technologies."