Runet wireless, still not WiMAX

    In the Russian market of broadband wireless access (BWA), high growth rates remain. In the first half of this year, the income of Internet providers from services based on wireless networks increased by 61% compared to the same period in 2005. The high dynamics of the BWA market is due to the general high demand for broadband Internet access, the relative underdevelopment of the wired access infrastructure, as well as the entry of new operators into the market, according to iKS-Consulting researchers .

    Despite active development, the absolute market size remains rather modest - $ 33 million according to the results of the first half of 2006. The main sources of income are wired broadband (66%) and dial-up access (29%). The share of wireless access is less than 8% in the broadband access segment and 5% in the Internet market as a whole.

    The number of users connected directly to wireless broadband networks increased by 8 thousand in the first half of the year and, according to iKS-Consulting”, Reached 35 thousand. At the same time, the number of subscribers connected to the Internet using a combination of technologies - wireless as a solution to the“ last mile ”and wired (usually Ethernet) on the“ last meters ”is growing. In Russian home networks, about 100 thousand households use such a combined solution.

    6 of the 10 largest players in the BWA market are located in Moscow, while these companies operate not only in the capital, but also in the Moscow Region, and some in other cities. The Top 10 also includes 2 St. Petersburg operators - Quantum (a 5% share in broadband access revenues in the Russian Federation) and Peterstar (3%), Flex operator ($ 6) near Moscow, and Enforta interregional provider "(6%). Among the market leaders are both companies for which wireless technologies are the main means of organizing access, such as “Taskom” (7%), ArtCommunications (5%), “Flex” (6%), etc., as well as leaders of wired Market - Golden Telecom (4%), Comstar (3%), Peterstar (3%). Most BWB segment leaders operate on the market for 5-10years. Only one new player managed to enter the Top 10 in the first half of the year - Enforta became one of the largest players thanks to the acquisitions of regional operators and the active connection of new subscribers.

    More than 220 Russian wireless networks built using RadioEthernet technology (IEEE 802.11). The same technologies are used by all operators included in the Top 10. At the same time, most major players are building or intend to build WiMAX networks. In mid-2006, pre-WiMAX / WiMAX technology accounted for only about 5% of the broadband wireless access market. However, the proportion of WiMAX is growing rapidly - its share will reach 20% in 2007, and this technology will become dominant by 2009-2010years This will be facilitated by the slowdown in the dynamics of the wire segment and the continued geographical expansion of pre-WiMAX / WiMAX operators .

    Analysts at iKS Consulting expect that in 2006 the fixed-line market will continue to grow at a level exceeding 60% and will reach $ 80 million by the end of the year. The share of BWA in the Internet market as a whole will grow by almost 1% and will approach 6%. In 2007-2008 gg. a further increase in the share of broadband wireless access is expected.

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