One in three broadband users will be mobile

8 Aug 2007

By 2012 one in every three broadband users – or 1.2 billion people – will be accessing the internet via mobile technology, new research from Jupiter indicates. It claims that 70pc of these will do so via HSDPA (high speed downlink packet access).

Jupiter predicts that the value of mobile broadband services revenues will grow to over US$400bn a year by 2012.

Demand for these services will be particularly strong in Europe, the US and Canada and to a lesser extent the Far East and China.

The main issues dictating take-up of the technology will the availability of suitable devices such as handsets, laptops, data cards or other devices like media players.

“HSDPA’s in-service status in 2007 makes it already the most advanced mobile broadband technology, with many further deployments due in the near and medium term,” said report author Howard Wilcox.

“For the 3G service provider base, HSDPA represents a software upgrade rather than a new network investment. HSDPA will also benefit from technology ‘leap’ subscribers in the developing nations, and handset churn elsewhere, with users migrating to HSDPA-based broadband as the norm.”

Wilcox said that over the last year there has been significant activity in the Mobile WiMAX market, including many trials and contract announcements by leading vendors and operators.

“Mobile WiMAX is now positioned to achieve a single digit percent proportion of the global mobile broadband subscriber base by 2012.

“This will represent a significant attainment for this new mobile platform. We believe that the WiMAX market will see substantial growth after 2012, as new networks are built out and new applications are adopted.”

In the near-term, HSDPA will however dominate the wireless broadband space, accounting for 70pc of all 1.2bn mobile broadband subscribers.

Jupiter said that there were several wildcard factors that could significantly increase the size of the market, including the emergence of very low cost laptop PCs and the addition of broadband to a range of devices such as games consoles and portable music players.

By John Kennedy