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Mobile broadband to dominate in 2011

HSDPA to grab lion's share of subscribers

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Mobile broadband is expected to become the dominant broadband platform worldwide in 2011, according to a new report.

The research, which was carried out by Informa Telecoms & Media, indicates there will be more than one billion broadband subscribers worldwide in 2011, with the majority using mobile rather than fixed systems.

Increased adoption will also lead to bigger revenues, with Informa estimating that more than $400bn in service revenues will be generated by mobile broadband in 2012.

HSDPA (High-Speed Downlink Packet Access) is expected to be the leading mobile broadband technology by then in terms of number of subscribers, followed by EV-DO and mobile WiMAX.

EV-DO ("Evolution, Data Only" or "Evolution, Data Optimised" as it's also known) an alternative third generation standard backed by mobile operators such as Sprint in the US, is expected to have the most subscribers globally by the end of 2007. However, it is expected to be surpassed by HSDPA, the mobile broadband technology currently favoured by mobile operators in Ireland, in 2009.

Meanwhile, TD-SCDMA (Time Division-Synchronous Code Division Multiple Access), an alternative 3G technology which is currently being rolled-out in China, is expected to have close to 50 million subscribers by 2012.

"Mobile broadband will represent close to half of total mobile service revenues in 2012, making it one of the largest and most strategically important segments of the mobile industry," said Mike Roberts, lead author of Informa's Future Mobile Broadband report.

According to the study, by June 2007 there were already more than 200 commercial mobile broadband networks worldwide with more than 50 million subscribers using hundreds of different mobile, portable and fixed devices to generate billions of dollars in service revenues.

"Mobile broadband is already a significant market but will explode in the next five years as networks, devices and services mature and spark mass-market adoption," said Roberts.

He added that the rate of migration from fixed broadband to mobile broadband will vary significantly by region and technology.

Informa also suggests that LTE (Long Term Evolution) will become the leading next-generation technology over the long run due to the huge installed based of WCDMA/HSDPA operators intent on deploying it. However, until 2012 it is expected to trail behind WiMax.

© 2007 ENN

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