Spain gets first WiMAX deployment

Spain has got its first WiMAX 802.16e network following an agreement between ZTE and telecoms provider Iberbanda back in 2009 which will see 500 base stations deployed for two years.

The first base stations have been bunged in the rural regions of Galicia on the north-west coast and its next-door neighbour Asturias which will bring high speed broadband to the areas. ZTE and Iberbanda’s focus will be the rural areas of Spain to supply lightning quick broadband to otherwise lacking areas.

The idea is that WiMax is best suited for high speed when the sufficient copper necessary for deploying other services is either not in place or is more trouble than it’s worth.

ZTE, which is China’s only listed telecom manufacturer, has been gearing up for a European invasion with co-branded handset releases in the UK and its own branded handsets in France. It has a history of providing WiMAX networks having supplied to 41 countries including markets such as the USA, Japan and Europe and is in the top three WiMax vendors according to Frost and Sullivan. It has also built the world’s largest 2.3G WiMax commercial network in Southeast Asia with 170,000 subscribers.

We wonder how long it will be until the sleeping dog wakes up and bites the global telecoms industry squarely in the rear. It’s pushing all of its services aggressively and, as Wu Sa gave his London forecast last month, ZTE wants to be the number three brand and telecoms service in the world as soon as possible. But is WiMAX the right technology to be pushing?