Taiwan WiMAX CPE shipment value to grow, WLAN shipment value to fall in 2009, says MIC
Press release; Meiling Chen, DIGITIMES [Monday 3 August 2009]
Shipment value of the Taiwan wireless communications equipment industry in 2009 is forecast to reach US$3.22 billion, down approximately 14.4% compared to 2008, but the WiMAX CPE industry is forecast to achieve growth in 2009, according to Taipei-based Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute (MIC).
Due to steady WiMAX CPE growth in emerging markets, shipment value of the Taiwan WiMAX CPE industry in 2009 is forecast to increase 11.4% compared to 2008. The Taiwan WLAN industry is expected to be affected by weak demand in the retail sector and the growth of low-price 11n products. As a result, shipment value of the Taiwan WLAN industry is expected to decline 18.3% in 2009.
Looking at the WiMAX industry development in the second half of 2009, small WiMAX carriers in regional markets are gradually becoming key customers of Taiwan-based makers, and they will become a stable revenue source for those makers. If capital injections for local WiMAX carriers in India and North America will be stable in the second half of 2009 and their base station deployment will continue to grow steadily as in the first half of 2009, WiMAX CPE shipment volume is expected to rapidly increase at the end of 2009.
As for the Taiwan WLAN industry, development trends in computing systems, retail channels and consumer electronics will influence the industry in the second half of 2009. Due to netbook shipment growth, a low-price trend is moving to the forefront in the notebook industry. This has also stimulated a low-price development among 11n WLAN modules. Taiwan makers' 11n wireless card shipments are moving from 2x2 MIMO to 1x1 SISO. Furthermore, due to the lack of price segmentation, it is expected that 11n module application in computing systems will rapidly replace 11g. As the 11n standard is already mature, chip prices are rapidly falling and competition between chip suppliers is becoming more intense. In order to maintain their market share, some leading WLAN chip suppliers have already promoted integrated chips for notebook platforms combining Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, MIC indicated.
Retail markets in regions around the world were heavily impacted by the financial crisis in the fourth quarter of 2008, and demand has not yet completely rebounded. Demand for 11n products of retail brands has also turned towards low-price 11n products. Taiwan makers that mainly have retail clients are aggressively focusing on Internet connectivity demand in TV sets, printers and Blu-ray optical disk drives in their product development, in order to achieve revenue growth.
As for the consumer electronics sector, Bluetooth 3.0 specifications were announced in April 2009. Many WLAN chip suppliers, including Broadcom, Atheros and Marvell, have announced 3.0 product plans. Chip suppliers have high hopes for embedded Bluetooth technology in many handheld devices. The trend of WLAN moving towards WPAN is becoming increasingly evident. This is expected to present new growth opportunities in the future for the Taiwan WLAN industry. Meanwhile, due to the emergence of slim design for TVs and demand for high-quality images, wireless HD and WHDI technologies will be focus areas of Taiwanese WLAN manufacturers in the second half of 2009, MIC added.