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Forward Concepts, known for their expertise in the DSP space, has entered the WiMAX forecasting market with a report predicting that the technology will be worth $2 billion in 2009.

Since the technology is still in its nascent state, the firm predicts that WiMAX chip revenues will total just $5.4 million this year. Still, Forward Concepts also predicted that traditional Wi-Fi WLAN products would generate $5.2 billion in 2005 sales alone, evidence that the WiMAX market still has a ways to mature.

While some analysts have wondered whether WiMAX will end up competing with HSDPA and other next-generation cellular technologies, Forward Concepts analyst Carter Horney has taken the opposing view.

“We view WiMAX as complementary to both Wi-Fi and 3G cellular,” he said in a statement. “Fixed 802.16d systems can provide backbones for Wi-Fi hotspots where DSL or cable is unavailable or impractical. When emerging 802.16e provides a mobility WiMAX capability, it will augment the Wi-Fi infrastructure that will remain dominant for several years.”

Since the technology is still rolling out, Forward Concepts analysts were reluctant to pick the market leaders. All of the chip vendors are still sampling, milling about in the paddock before the WiMAX race begins.

However, “the PHY/MAC chip leaders on the CPE (client) side of the current ‘fixed’ point-to-multipoint market, defined by IEEE 802.16-2004 (but popularly known as 802.11d) are clearly…”

Read the rest of this story on ExtremeWiMAX: “Analyst Handicaps WiMAX Market, Picks Early Leaders”