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There will be more than 50 million active WiMax broadband subscriptions around the world by 2014, it has been suggested.

According to Juniper Research, demand for WiMax broadband will be fuelled by underserved markets, or 'not spots', in which consumers are unable to access fixed-line services.

The study indicated that WiMax will be capable of providing easier and more cost-effective broadband coverage in these areas where it is not commercially viable to install wired networks.

Juniper Research predicted that WiMax growth will be primarily driven in western Europe by "DSL churn" - consumers switching to the mobile broadband solution from their existing copper lines - rather than new customers.

Howard Wilcox, author of the report, said: "WiMax will have opportunities not just in developing countries but also areas of developed countries where the DSL coverage is weak or non-existent.

"The key for the industry ecosystem now is to overcome the challenges and ensure trials evolve into commercial services quickly."

Previously, the Guardian suggested that WiMax could help fill in the UK's broadband not spots, but suggested that the technology had not received much backing from the government's Digital Britain action plan.

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