In spite of difficult economic conditions, the number of broadband wireless access (BWA) and WiMAX subscribers increased significantly during 2008. According to the seventh issue of the 4GCounts Quarterly Report from market research specialist Maravedis, the number of worldwide BWA/WiMAX subscribers grew by 1.45 million in 2008. In contrast, the WCDMA subscriber base increased by more than 90 million during the same time frame. The average quarter-over-quarter BWA/WiMAX subscriber growth rate in 2008 was 21.5 percent. The Middle East and Africa were the fastest growing regions for WiMAX in 2008.
According to Maravedis Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and founder Adlane Fellah, "Total BWA/WiMAX revenues for 2008 totaled $1.82 billion (USD), compared to $898.78 million (USD) in 2007a 102 percent annual revenue increase despite the economic downturn that began affecting operator revenues in Q3 2008." Cintia Garza, co-author of the report and 4GCounts team leader, noted: "2008 was a difficult year for most WiMAX vendors, which accelerated both market consolidation and niche specialization in order to survive the downturn. Because many operators are planning to deploy mobile WiMAX equipment, devices based on 802.16-2004 experienced a slow down." Basharat Ashai, co-author of the report, adds that "Government and service industries are expected to be the top spenders on vertical applications. As WiMAX operators roll out their networks worldwide, increased availability of coverage will accelerate adoption of vertical services."