Despite of a slow head start, WiMAX reported the highest growth rate among all wireless access technologies in the second quarter 2009, with 74 percent growth rate over the last quarter, revealed ABI Research.
During the quarter, the total installed base of WiMAX (both 802.16d and 802.16e) was a little over three million subscriptions.
However, this is a sign that the battle for the 4G market is not an automatic victory for LTE, said Jake Saunders, vice-president for forecasting at ABI Research.
While WiMAX and LTE will take very different paths, LTE will slowly begin to mark its presence in second to third quarter of 2010.
Meanwhile, HSPA may turn into a true competitor in the space, with it notching almost 160 million subscriptions.
EDGE on the other hand may not have the sheen of 3G or 4G, but carriers are relying on it to deliver mobile Internet and messaging service where 3G coverage is inadequate. Hence, in Q209, there were over 375 million EDGE subscribers.
Mobile broadband market is spicing up, with the total subscriptions expected to be over 240 million subscribers by the end of 2009 and further surpass 1.2 billion by 2014.
Likewise, mobile data traffic is also burgeoning.
Early in 2009 mobile operators started to evolve to WCDMA 3G infrastructures to ensure sufficient network capacity to meet demand. 3G subscriptions secured 25 percent of the global subscription market with almost 910 million.