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Broadband Wireless Subscribers Still Spending Green on St. Patty's Day

3/17/09 - Market research firm Infonetics Research released the fourth quarter (4Q08) edition of its Mobile Broadband Cards, Routers, Services, and Subscribers report last week. 

"With HSPA going live around many parts of the world, mobile broadband adoption accelerated in 2008, as mobile networks finally started to deliver on the promise of high speed mobile access. This, combined with better devices, gave the market tremendous impetus over the past year. Growth in the number of mobile broadband subscribers hit triple-digit percents in all the major world regions in 2008, indicating a booming market," said Richard Webb , Directing Analyst - WiMAX, Microwave, and Mobile Devices - Infonetics Research.


  • Worldwide, the number of mobile broadband subscribers (including W- CDMA/HSPA and CDMA2000/EV-DO) jumped 125% in 2008 over 2007, hitting 210.5 million, and are expected to top 1 billion by 2013
  • Sales of mobile broadband PC cards and embedded mobile broadband cards topped $4.1 billion worldwide in 2008, and are expected to continue gathering momentum in 2009
  • Worldwide mobile broadband router manufacturer revenue grew 114% in 2008 over 2007, although sales slowed in the second half of the year
  • Huawei and Sony Ericsson tie for lead market share in mobile broadband cards by revenue in 2008, with Sony Ericsson's strength based on W- CDMA/HSPA cards and dongles, and Huawei's based on both HSPA and EV-DO and a broader mix of PC card and embedded card formats
  • Several other major players, including Sierra, Novatel, and Option, also achieved market share in the mobile broadband cards segment
  • Service provider revenue from mobile broadband services grew 45% in 2008 to hit $49.8 billion worldwide, and, though the global recession is hampering growth, mobile broadband service revenue is expected to grow in healthy double-digit percents over the next 5 years


Infonetics' mobile broadband report provides worldwide and regional market size, market share, analysis, and forecasts through 2013 for mobile broadband equipment (mobile broadband PC cards, embedded mobile broadband cards, mobile broadband routers), mobile broadband subscribers (both phone-based and PC-based mobile broadband subscribers), and mobile broadband services. Technologies tracked include W-CDMA/HSPA and CDMA2000/EV-DO.

Companies tracked in Infonetics' mobile broadband report include D-Link, Huawei, Kyocera, Motorola, NETGEAR, Novatel, Option, Proxicast, Sierra Wireless, SonicWALL, Sony-Ericsson, ZTE, and others.

Mobile phones and smartphones are now tracked in Infonetics Research's biannual Mobile and WiFi Phones and Subscribers report, due out March 24 and September 24, 2009.

By Robert Hoskins

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