According to research by the Taipei-based Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute (MIC), shipment volumes of Taiwan’s WiMAX CPE industry reached approximately 264,000 units in the first quarter of 2009, roughly maintaining the shipment level of the previous quarter. In the first quarter, 16e products were mainstream in the industry’s shipments, mainly due to their product compatibility and new product tenders in 2009. The industry’s shipment volume is expected to reach 413,000 units in the second quarter, and 485,000 units in the third quarter of 2009.
Even though shipment volumes remained level on quarter, shipment value declined 22.4% sequentially to US$29.5 million. This was mainly due to the fact that many manufacturers reduced prices in order to compete for new cooperation opportunities and tenders which caused ASPs to fall rapidly. The shipment share of 802.16e products exceeded 90% in the first quarter of 2009.
According to Analyst Xiang-Yu Yen, “16d shipment volumes are seeing large-scale declines, mainly due to product compatibility issues and new tenders. As 16e products feature downward compatibility, companies are adopting 16e products for 16d networks. The large-scale decline of 16d tenders is also contributing to the fall in 16d shipments. In the future, shipment growth momentum will mainly come from 16e products.”
Shipment growth momentum in the second quarter of 2009 is expected to increase, as WiMAX network deployment in regions around the world is becoming more comprehensive. Carriers such as UQ in Japan and Packet One in Malaysia have already entered wimax trial or commercial operation. Demand from WiMAX operators in emerging markets is also expected to stimulate WiMAX CPE growth.
According to MIC, WiMAX CPE orders to Taiwan makers from different regions started to increase in the second half of the first quarter. Originally, demand was unclear due to the economic downturn, and manufacturers had become more conservative in terms of material procurement. As material procurement was thus insufficient, new orders only made a small contribution to the shipments in the first quarter. Shipment of these orders was delayed to the second and third quarter. Meanwhile, in 2008 Taiwan-based equipment makers invested in making their products interoperable with major overseas vendors, and they also gained experience in 16e product and network terminal testing. These factors will help Taiwan’s equipment manufacturers obtain international WiMAX CPE orders, stimulating shipment growth in the second and third quarters.