Wireless broadband revenue predicted to shoot up by 2015

31 Jul 2008

Globally, 2.1 billion wireless broadband customers will generate US$784bn in service revenue by 2015, a report out today is predicting.

The latest publication from Analysys Mason, advisers on telecoms, IT and digital media, said this revenue increase of 2,400pc will be underpinned by continued developments in wireless technologies, improvements in devices and more flexible options.

High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) will support 88pc of wireless broadband customers at the end of 2008, and its importance will continue, said Dr Mark Heath, co-author of the report.

“Despite the increasing availability of Long-Term Evolution [LTE] and WiMAX, HSPA and HSPA+ will still support 54pc of wireless broadband users by the end of 2015.”

Developing regions will account for only 17pc of wireless broadband customers at the end of 2008, but the lack of fixed-line infrastructure in these regions will bolster the growth of wireless broadband services, so developing regions will account for 57pc of wireless broadband customers worldwide by the end of 2015, the report forecasts.

A key finding of the report was that cellular technologies will dominate broadband services, with 20 times as many users as WiMAX by the end of 2015. WiMAX will be squeezed from developed markets by fixed and cellular broadband services and by 2015 will serve 98 million customers worldwide, of which 92pc will be in developing regions.

The report goes on to argue that WiMAX will fail to achieve a significant share of the rapidly developing wireless broadband market, contributing only 2pc to global revenue.

“By 2015, there will be 20 times as many customers for cellular broadband services as for WiMAX,” according to Dr Alaistair Brydon, co-author of the report. “The vast majority of MNOs will not break ranks to WiMAX, but will upgrade to LTE, resulting in over four times more LTE users by the end of 2015.”

By Sorcha Corcoran