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Unlicensed Broadband Wireless: Solutions and Applications

  • ID: 42933
  • December 2003
  • Parks Associates
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The market for unlicensed broadband wireless (UBW) technologies is still at a very early stage, with a highly fragmented service market and a plethora of proprietary technologies using different bands and protocols.

Service providers are creating profitable business models in the enterprise market even in urban areas, but residential rollouts of UBW technologies are still largely limited in rural, urban edge, and other underserved markets.

The success of Wi-Fi has ignited interest in extending the use of unlicensed wireless technologies to bridge the last-mile bottleneck.

This report examines the existing broadband wireless solutions in the unlicensed spectrum, their current and potential applications, the possible impact of WiMAX standardization, and other market drivers and inhibitors.

The report includes:

- consumer data
- profiles of equipment vendors
- perspectives of WISPs and incumbent carriers

Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown
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1.0 Executive Summary
1.1 Why Unlicensed Broadband Wireless: Defining Underserved Markets
1.1.1 The Coverage Gap
1.1.2 The Broadband Momentum
1.1.3 Defining Underserved Market
1.2 Unlicensed Broadband Wireless Solutions
1.2.1 Wi-Fi, Proprietary Technologies, and WiMAX
1.2.2 Technology Advancements
1.3 Profiling UBW Service Providers
1.4 Market forecasts

2.0 Unlicensed Broadband Wireless (UBW) Technologies and Company/Product Profiles
2.1 A Technology Primer
2.1.1 Wired Broadband vs. Wireless Broadband
2.1.2 Licensed vs. Unlicensed Spectrum
Spectrum
Power Limitations
2.1.3. Standard-Based vs. Proprietary Wireless Technologies
Wi-Fi
WiMAX
Proprietary Technologies
2.1.4 Line-of-Sight, Near Line-of-Sight, and Non Line-of-Sight
2.1.5 Point-to-Point vs. Point-to-Multipoint
2.1.6 Mesh Networks
2.1.7 DOCSIS-based Solutions
2.1.8 Free-Space Optics
2.1.9 New Trends: Beam-Steering and MIMO
2.2 Technology Protocols
2.2.1 Transmission Technology
Single Carrier
Spread Spectrum
OFDM
2.2.2 Modulation Techniques
2.2.3 Tradeoff as a Way of Life
2.3 Alternative Technologies
2.3.1 Wireline Technologies
DSL
Cable Modem
T1
Fiber
Powerline
2.3.2 Wireless Technologies
Cellular Technologies
Satellite Broadband Services
MMDS and Other Licensed Broadband Wireless Technologies
2.4 Financial Situation of Selected Public Companies
2.4.1 Financial Data
2.4.2 Market Data
2.5 Company and Product Profiles
2.5.1 Aeras
2.5.2 Airaya
2.5.3 Airspan
2.5.4 Alvarion
2.5.5 Aperto Networks
2.5.6 ArcWave
2.5.7 Cirronet
2.5.8 Mesh Networks
2.5.9 Motorola Canopy
2.5.10 Navini Networks
2.5.11 Omnilux
2.5.12 Orthogon
2.5.13 Proxim
2.5.14 Redline Communications
2.5.15 Speedcom
2.5.16 SR Telecom
2.5.17 Stratex Networks
2.5.18 Trango Broadband
2.5.19 Vivato
2.5.20 WaveRider Communications
2.5.21 WiLAN
2.5.22 YDI

3.0 Current Applications, Best Practices, and Potential Markets
3.1 Private Market Segment
3.2 Public Market Segment (Service Provider)
3.2.1 MDU/MTU Market
3.2.2 Small Enterprise
3.2.3 Medium/Large Enterprise
3.2.4 MUSH Market
3.2.5 Residential/SOHO Market
3.3 Defining Underserved Market
3.3.1 Rural Market
Defining Rural
The Cost Challenge of Serving Rural Markets
Essential Facts of Rural Market
3.3.2 Urban Edge Market and New Communities
3.4 Perspectives of Wireless ISPs
3.4.1 Segmenting the WISP Market
Types of Services Provided
Spectrum Used
3.4.2 Profiles of Selected WISPs
3.4.3 The Importance of Facility Ownership
3.4.4 Other Issues
Distribution of UBW Equipment
Marketing
The Importance of Strategic Alliances
The Importance of Triple Play

4.0 High-Speed Internet Status Report
4.1 Growth of High-Speed Internet Subscribers
4.2 High-Speed Internet Coverage by Access Technology
4.3 High-Speed Internet Coverage by Location
4.4 Perspectives of ILECs and Cablecos Regarding Broadband Wireless Services
4.4.1 Failed Broadband Wireless Projects
4.4.2 New Initiatives
4.4.3 View of Unlicensed Broadband Wireless
4.4.4 Challenges and Concerns

5.0 Consumer Perspectives
5.1 Demand for Broadband Services
5.2 Broadband Drivers and Influencers
5.3 Broadband Subscribers by Access Technology
5.4 Portability as a Broadband Differentiator
5.4.1 Interest in Portable Broadband Services and Length of Broadband Subscription
5.4.2 Interest in Portable Broadband Services and History of Switching Service Providers
5.4.3 Interest in Portable Broadband Services and Interest in Guaranteed High-Bandwidth Services
5.5 Preference of Broadband Service Providers
5.6 Interest in Bundled Services
5.7 The Importance of Professional Installation of CPEs
5.8 Price Differences among DSL, Cable, and Broadband Wireless Services
5.9 Difference in Length of Subscription of Broadband Users

6.0 Supply-side Drivers and Inhibitors
6.1 Drivers
6.1.1 The Broadband Momentum
6.1.2 The Advantage of License-Exempt Spectrum
6.1.3 Technology Drivers
6.1.4 Emergence of Technology Standards
6.1.5 Government Initiatives
6.1.6 More Flexible Spectrum Policies
6.2 Inhibitors
6.2.1 Limitation of Unlicensed Technologies
6.2.2 High CPE cost
6.2.3 Threat of Incumbents
6.2.4 Lack of Support from Large ISPs and Market Segmentation
6.2.5 Lack of Funding

7.0 Analysis and Forecasts
7.1 User Forecasts
7.1.1 Residential
7.1.2 Enterprise
7.2 Service Revenue Forecasts
7.3 Forecasts for CPE Unit Shipment

List of Figures

Section 1.0
Cable and DSL Broadband Upgrades as a Percentage of Total Footprint
Penetration of Cable Modem and DSL Services Based on Total Homes Passed
Likelihood of Narrowband Households Upgrading to Broadband Internet Services
Internet and Broadband Users by Locations (Central City, Urban, and Rural)
Market Structure of Broadband Services 1-6
Composition of the “Low-Hanging-Fruit” UBW Residential Service Market
802.16 Cost, Bandwidth, and Range
802.16 Standard Roadmap
Estimate of Service Providers
WISP Profile by Number of Employees
Information of Selected UBW Service Providers
Percentage Breakdown by Access Technologies among U.S. Broadband Households
Growth of Broadband Users by Access Technologies (June 2000-December 2002)
Forecast of Residential UBW Subscribers (2003-2008)
UBW Service Revenue and Annual Growth Rate (2003-2008)
Forecasts of CPE Unit Shipments by Market Segment

Section 2.0
Structure of Wireless Broadband Networks
History of Unlicensed Spectrum
Available Bandwidth and Power Limit of Different Unlicensed Bands
Selected Standard-based Wireless Technologies
802.16 Cost, Bandwidth, and Range
802.16 Standard Roadmap
Typical Network Setup of DOCSIS-based UBW Solutions
The Evolution of DOCSIS Platform
Major U.S. Powerline Communications Equipment Vendors
Availability and Application Suitability of Different Broadband Service technologies
The Growth of Direcway Broadband Subscribers
Annual Revenue Growth of Selected Public-Traded UBW Vendors
Major Merger Activities among UBW Equipment Vendors (2001-2003)
Airspan Shifting Focus to International Markets
Quarterly Revenue Growth of Selected Public Companies (Q1/02-Q3/03)
Market Information of Selected Actively-Traded Equipment Vendors
Market Information of Selected OTC Equipment Vendors
Stock Price Comparison of Selected UBW Vendors and Traditional Telecom Equipment Vendors

Section 3.0
Total Occupied Housing Units Breakdown by Type of Structure
Renters vs. Owners in Large Cities
Statistics of Enterprises by Employment Size
Change in Broadband Services for Medium-to-Large Enterprises (1999-2002)
Towerstream Enterprise Service Pricing
Number of Government Units by Type
The Breakdown of U.S. Internet Households (Q2 2003)
Market Structure of Broadband Services
Cable Operator Footprint Overlap with Bells
Composition of the “Low-Hanging-Fruit” UBW Residential Service Market
Detailed Description of Rural Market Segments
Number of U.S. Households by “Place Size”
Rural Telcos’ Switch Distribution by Mileage to Internet Backbone Providers
Substantial Cost of Upgrading Rural Phonelines for DSL Services
DSL and Cable Modem Access by Town Size
Estimate of Service Providers
WISP Profile by Number of Employees
Types of Services Provided by WISPs
WISP’s 2003 Planned Product Purchases Breakdown by Spectrum
Information of Selected UBW Service Providers
Comparison of Gross Revenue Growth between ILECs and CLECs (1999-2002)
CLECs More Competitive at Providing Services to Medium-to-Large Enterprises and Institutional/Governmental Customers
Unlicensed Broadband Wireless Popular among CLECs
WISP’s Planned Corporate Spending for 2003

Section 4.0
DSL and Cable Modem Subscriber Growth (2000-2003)
Growth of Broadband Users by Access Technologies (June 2000-December 2002)
High-Speed Internet Users by Access Technology and Market Segments (1999-2002)
Overall Growth of Residential/SME High-Speed Internet Subscribers and Medium-o-Large Enterprise, Institutional, and Governmental Subscribers
Percentage Breakdown by Access Technology for Residential and Enterprise Subscribers (2002)
The Top Ten and Bottom Ten States Ranked by High-Speed Internet Penetration (2002)
Licensed Broadband Wireless: Events and Transactions (2000-2003)
DSL Availability Estimate (2001-2004)
Major Trials and Announcements of Licensed Broadband Wireless Deployments
2003 Spectrum Transactions
Wi-Fi Hotspot Plans of Telecom Carriers
Cable and DSL Broadband Upgrades as a Percentage of Total Footprint
Penetration of Cable Modem and DSL Services Based on Total Homes Passed

Section 5.0
Consumer Satisfaction with Narrowband Service
Likelihood of Narrowband Households Upgrading to Broadband Internet Services
Primary Reason for Planned Broadband Upgrade
Primary Reason for Not Wanting to Upgrade
Primary Reason for Upgrading to Broadband among Current Subscribers
Reasons for Subscribing/Upgrading to Broadband Services
Percentage Breakdown by Access Technologies among U.S. Broadband Households
Broadband Service to Which Narrowband Subscribers Upgrading to Broadband would Likely Subscribe
Interest in Portable Broadband Services
Interest in Portable Broadband Services & Length of Broadband Service Subscription
Interest in Portable Broadband Services and History of Switching Service Providers
Interest in Portable Broadband Services and Interest in Guaranteed High-bandwidth Broadband Services
Satisfaction with Broadband Internet Service
Percentage of Broadband Households Interested in Switching Service Provider for Cost Savings
Level of Comfort with Receiving Bundled Services from a Single Provider & Type of Internet Service
Likelihood of Switching Providers in Order to Receive Bundled Services with $10/Month Savings
Distribution Channels for Broadband CPE
How Was the Modem Installed During Initial Service Set-up
How Was the Broadband Modem Installed & Type of Access Technologies
Importance of Professional Installation in Selection of Service Provider
Price Range of Broadband Services by Type of Access Technologies
Length of Broadband Subscription and Type of Access Technologies

Section 6.0
Internet and Broadband Users by Locations (Central City, Urban, and Rural)
CLEC’s Perception of Spectrum Auction
Wireless Laptop Ownership among Broadband Households
The Benefit of 802.16 Standardization
Top 10 ISPs and Change of Subscriber Numbers
Hostile Financing Environment for CLECs

Section 7.0
Forecast for Broadband Adoption among U.S. Households
Forecast of Residential UBW Subscribers (2003-2008)
Forecast of Small Enterprise UBW Subscribers
Forecast of Medium/Large Enterprise, Institutional, and Governmental UBW Subscribers (2003-2008)
Forecast of UBW Subscriber ARPU (2003-2008)
UBW Service Revenue and Annual Growth Rate (2003-2008)
Revenue Forecast for UBW Services by Market Segments (2003-2008)
CPE Replacement Assumptions
Forecasts of CPE Unit Shipments by Market Segment

Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown
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Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown

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