1.5 Billion Mobile Broadband Subscribers Predicted By 2015

Most mobile Internet users connected via smartphones, but many use modem-enabled iPads, netbooks and laptops and operators see burgeoning revenue growth in mobile broadband services, according to ABI Research.

W. David Gardner, Contributor

September 7, 2010

2 Min Read

The number of mobile broadband subscribers is projected to total 1.5 billion by 2015, according to a report released Tuesday by ABI Research. That robust growth bodes well for the mobile data modems, which are already enjoying robust sales. The report -- "Cellular Modem Product Tracker" --breaks the devices down into different categories ranging from PC cards, USB modems, internal Mini-Cards and mobile hotspot routers and found that USB modem dongles are the most common data modems offered by mobile network operators.

"While the majority of subscribers connect to the mobile Internet via their smartphones, a number do so via their modem-enabled iPads, netbooks and laptops," said ABI principal analyst Jeff Orr in a statement. "Mobile operators are starting to see burgeoning revenue growth in mobile broadband services."

ABI Research found that USB mobile dongles' ease of use and their easy portability make the devices popular. "They are easy to carry and flexible to use," according to the report, "so it is very convenient for users to maintain Internet access when they are away from home or office."

The devices are becoming more versatile and ABI Research cited the example of Huawei Technologies' E583C, which can be used as both a portable hotspot and as a standard modem. The device, which weighs jus 90 grams, is capable of providing 7.2 Mbps downstream and 5.76 Mbps upstream.

Khin Sandi Lynn, an ABI Research associate, pointed out that most data modems currently on the market support GSM, GPRS, EDGE or HSDPA, while 4G modems are beginning to be offered by carriers.

FURTHER READING: Huawei Introduces LTE Modem Verizon Prevents Treo Use As 3G Modem Clearwire Intros New WiMax 4G Modems

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