Mobile broadband users to pass 1bn by 2012 say analysts

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Mobile broadband users to pass 1bn by 2012 say analysts

HSPA earmarked as dominant technology for now.

Nearly one in three mobile subscribers around the world will use a mobile broadband connection by 2012 according to analyst firm Juniper Research.

This will represent over one billion users, growing mobile broadband service revenues to over US$400bn worldwide, driven by demand from North America, Western Europe and to a lesser extent by the Far East and China.

Juniper says that High-Speed Packet Access (HSPA), which includes HSDPA and HSUPA as well as upcoming versions, will dominate mobile broadband network deployments over the next five years, consistently accounting for about 70 per cent of the total mobile broadband subscriber base until 2012.

The results form part of the firm's report Mobile Broadband Markets: EV-DO, WiMAX, HSPA & Beyond 2007-2012.

"HSPA'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 Howard Wilcox, the report's author.

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

However, the report warns that the uptake of mobile broadband will hinge heavily on the availability of suitable devices, be they handsets, laptops, datacards, or other types of device such as media players and handheld gaming consoles.

"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 pr oportion of the global mobile broadband subscriber base by 2012," continued Wilcox.

"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."

Alongside the growth of WiMAX, the report predicts that Evolution-Data Optimised (EV-DO) technology, which is a standard for the wireless transmission of data using radio signals, will be the next most prolific technology driven by extensive penetration of the Americas and Far East.

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