Feeds

Where's my 3.5G handset?

Dearth of devices hampers growth of next-gen technology

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

The number of 3.5G mobile broadband subscribers globally will soar from around 2.5m to more than 300m in 2011 despite a shortage in compelling devices, according to a new study.

Mobile operators are looking to supercharge mobile data access speeds with technology that puts 3G on steroids, offering download speeds of anything up between 1-2Mbps.

These so-called 3.5G services use a variety of technologies, including High-Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) enhancements to the W-CDMA (Wideband Code Division Multiple Access) 3G technology and Evolution-Data Optimised (EV-DO), an extension to the CDMA family of standards.

Handset availability problems that affected the market development of 3G will be repeated in the case of the 3.5G market, according to a report by market analysts Informa Telecoms and Media. It expects a dearth of suitable handsets and devices to be a problem until at least the end of next year.

"A lack of compelling devices and content led to delayed launches and slow take-up of W-CDMA and EV-DO services, and early HSDPA and EV-DO Revision A services are expected to suffer from the very same problems," said Malik Saadi, principal analyst at Informa Telecoms and co-author of its Future Mobile Broadband Strategic Report.

Most HSDPA services are launching with only PC cards and notebooks, although a number of early handsets are also arriving. The CDMA camp is even further behind in developing kit. "As of June no major vendor has unveiled plans for EV-DO Rev. A handsets, although data cards are on the way," Saadi said.

A lack of compelling handsets will slow mass-market take up of 3.5G mobile broadband services in 2006-07, but handsets will start to mature in 2008, according to Informa. It reckons 3.5G handset sales and subscriptions will take off in 2008-09. By 2011, 85 per cent of 3.5G devices sold will be handsets, and the remaining 15 per cent will be notebooks and PC cards.

Mobile WiMAX will compete with HSPA and EV-DO Rev A/B in mobile broadband markets but will be hampered to an even greater extent than those technologies from the slow arrival of compelling notebooks and handsets.

"Mobile WiMAX will play a relatively minor role in the mobile broadband market through 2011, largely because Mobile WiMAX notebooks and tablets will not arrive in volume until 2008-09, and compelling Mobile WiMAX handsets won't arrive until 2010," said Mike Roberts, principal analyst at Informa and the second co-author of the Future Mobile Broadband report.

"By comparison, HSDPA notebooks and handsets are already shipping, which means that the HSDPA device market is one to two years ahead of the Mobile WiMAX device market," he added.

While WiMax might be slow off the starting blocks in the mobile market, the technology will do much better in the fixed, nomadic and portable broadband segments over the next five years. Many WiMAX subscribers will be using fixed indoor modems rather than mobile devices, Informa predicts. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
TEEN RAMPAGE: Kids in iPhone 6 'Will it bend' YouTube 'prank'
iPhones bent in Norwich? As if the place wasn't weird enough
Consumers agree to give up first-born child for free Wi-Fi – survey
This Herod network's ace – but crap reception in bullrushes
Crouching tiger, FAST ASLEEP dragon: Smugglers can't shift iPhone 6s
China's grey market reports 'sluggish' sales of Apple mobe
Sea-Me-We 5 construction starts
New sub cable to go live 2016
New EU digi-commish struggles with concepts of net neutrality
Oettinger all about the infrastructure – but not big on substance
PEAK IPV4? Global IPv6 traffic is growing, DDoS dying, says Akamai
First time the cache network has seen drop in use of 32-bit-wide IP addresses
EE coughs to BROKEN data usage metrics BLUNDER that short-changes customers
Carrier apologises for 'inflated' measurements cockup
Comcast: Help, help, FCC. Netflix and pals are EXTORTIONISTS
The others guys are being mean so therefore ... monopoly all good, yeah?
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.