Mobile broadband is going mainstream, new report states

7 Jan 2009

Mobile broadband in the US is transitioning into a mainstream service that could withstand the current economic downturn, according to a report out today.

The Parks Associates research predicts a steady increase in smart phone sales, to reach nearly 60 million units in the US in 2013, which will increase consumer reliance on mobile broadband connectivity.

This adoption level will enable carriers and manufacturers to establish new revenue streams and create a stickier customer base, the analysts said.

“Smart phones will be the most popular mobile broadband access devices,” said Anton Denissov, research analyst, Parks Associates.

“Consumers will grow more comfortable with mobile broadband, and the service will become part of their daily lives, as they will be able to surf the web, play games, share pictures and connect via social networks from anywhere. This tight integration makes the service a utility that remains popular even during economic downturns.”

Consumer comfort with mobile connectivity will create demand for the same functionality in non-phone devices, according to the report. It estimates that in 2013, US consumers will buy over five million connected cameras, over one million 3G-enabled portable media players and over two million 3G-enabled netbooks.

“Embedding mobile broadband connectivity into non-phone devices creates new revenue opportunities for carriers, CE (consumer electronics) manufacturers, media companies and advertisers,” Denissov said.

“To penetrate the mainstream consumer market, however, these companies must work in tandem to create services and devices that are affordable, entertaining and simple to use.”

According to research by the telecoms consultancy Analysys Mason, Ireland is second only to Austria in adopting mobile broadband in Europe, so we can only assume the Parks Associates view on its development in the US could spill over to here.

By Sorcha Corcoran