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A new survey has suggested that WiMAX could become a common alternative to fixed-line broadband.

According to a report examining the global capabilities of WiMAX - which delivers high-speed internet services using radio waves - the number of people using the service worldwide could reach 47 million by 2013.

Juniper Research suggests that WiMAX could be useful in developed and developing countries and could connect people in remote areas as well as those living on the peripheries of towns and cities.

The analysis firm predicts that by 2013, 12 per cent of anticipated fixed-line broadband customers may instead opt for WiMAX products.

However, the study concedes that much of the expected growth is dependent on the "availability of suitable devices and timely network construction".

WiMAX received some criticism in recent weeks, with CommsDay reporting that Gareth Freeman, chief executive of Australia-based broadband provider Buzz Broadband, has dismissed the technology as a "miserable failure".

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