Declan Byrne, President of WiMAX forum, the global body that certifies and promotes the compatibility and interoperability of WiMAX products and services, recently visited Pakistan to meet with regulator and government officials to help them understand the challenges being faced by WiMAX operators in Pakistan.
Along with local partners, WiMAX forum has put immense efforts in streamlining the WiMAX businesses in Pakistan that have been undergoing stagnant growth after booming period few years ago.
Declan, while speaking with ProPakistani, explained that his visit to Pakistan is not only aimed at convincing the government in bringing more transparency in laws and market practices but also to encourage WiMAX investors who are apparently hesitant in putting more capital in their businesses lately.
Declan specifically mentioned that Pakistan Telecommunication Authority will have to work in-line with WiMAX operators to offer level playing field to all broadband technologies. He explained that spectrum allocated for WiMAX in Pakistan is capping the performance and productivity of operators. In addition, he said, the spectrum used by incumbent that goes beyond its legal allowance is greatly hurting WiMAX and other broadband operators in Pakistan.
Declan told ProPakistani that WiMAX operators will have to evolve their business models to meet ever-changing market needs. He said that WiMAX operators can work on deploying WiFi hotspots, hundreds or even thousands of them, in metropolitans – on top of backhaul WiMAX technology – to start offering broadband service to end-users through WiFi channels.
Declan suggested that WiMAX operators can partner with cellular companies to form partnerships to offer broadband services to cross-network users, eventually to boost their revenues on current working ecosystem.
WiMAX President further proposed that WiMAX operators can even contract with each other to offer broadband roaming services to cross-operator users – making service availability (on WiMAX or WiFi) available to larger pool of customers in wider range of areas.
Without mentioning a timeline, Declan Byrne revealed to ProPakistani that WiMAX forum is working on new standards that will allow all sorts of devices, including smartphones, notebooks, tablets and others, to get connected with internet through WiMAX without CPEs. Declan said that once these new standards get live, somewhere around 2014, WiMAX operators will become strongest contestants for offering broadband services in developed and developing markets alike.
Declan appreciated Pakistani operators for deploying one of largest and first WiMAX network in the world. It maybe recalled that Naeem Zamindar, CEO Wateen Telecom, was recently included in Board of Directors at WiMAX forum.