Market research firm Infonetics Research released the fourth quarter (4Q08) edition of its Mobile Broadband Cards, Routers, Services, and Subscribers report last week. The report found that 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.
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"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.
The study also found that 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.
Source: Cellular News.