Next-generation HSPA and LTE (Long Term Evolution) connections accounted for 17.3pc of the total number of broadband connections in Europe at the end of 2009, a study by Berg Insight suggests.
The number of HSPA/LTE mobile broadband subscribers (connected PCs) grew by 71pc year-on-year in 2009 to reach 25 million and is forecasted to continue to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21.6pc to 81 million by 2015.
The North American market has so far evolved at a slower pace, with mobile broadband accounting for just 7.1pc of the total number of connections.
Between 2009 and 2015, the North American market is forecasted to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 34.8pc to reach 42 million subscribers at the end of the period.
Mobile broadband adoption rates
The levels of adoption of mobile broadband vary significantly across Europe.
“Austria is the most advanced market, with a penetration rate of over 15pc, corresponding to 40pc of all broadband connections in the country,” said Marcus Persson, Telecom Analyst, Berg Insight.
“Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Ireland and Portugal have also penetration rates above 10pc. Belgium, Netherlands and Greece have, on the other hand, penetration rates of less than 3pc.”
He predicts that mobile broadband connectivity will eventually become a standard feature in portable PCs, which will have integrated wireless modems, enabling them to connect to the best available network.
“The attach rate of embedded mobile broadband in notebooks was less than 5pc in both Europe and North America last year. This will change as prices for the embedded modules decrease and an attach rate of almost 45pc is expected already in five years,” Marcus said.
Huawei has established itself as the world’s largest supplier of mobile broadband terminals, holding a market share of 53pc and has a particularly strong foothold in Europe. ZTE is the second-largest vendor with clear margins capturing a market share of 30pc.
Berg Insight estimates the total global number of shipped external mobile broadband devices in 2009 to 66 million, with Europe and North America accounting for 24.3 million units and 5.6 million units respectively.