Global wireless subscriptions for 3G and 4G networks are expected to account for 30 percent of the market within the next five years, according to a report released Wednesday by In-Stat.
That's a substantial increase from the 11 percent slice of the global market that 3G held at the end of last year, the report noted.
The increase is expected to come by 2013, as wireless carriers upgrade their cellular networks to 4G from 3G, and network equipment makers roll out their commercial 4G products toward the end of the year.
4G technology Long Term Evolution (LTE) is expected to give WiMax stiff competition in the 4G market, but, for now, In-Stat notes WiMax has a head start and may hold its own.
"Based on contract awards, WiMax deployments are remaining resilient in the face of the economic slowdown, although some operators are slowing the deployment rate," Daryl Schoolar, an In-Stat analyst, said in a statement.
He added that WiMax may find itself an attractive alternative in developing countries, where fixed broadband networks have not yet been established.