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The Mobile Broadband Connectivity Market 7th Edition

The Mobile Broadband Connectivity Market 7th Edition

Market Study
Published: December 2012
Pages: 170
Research from: Berg Insight
Sector: Broadband & Fixed

From: GBP 833.00
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The European and North American mobile broadband markets show continued growth fuelled by declining prices and improving performance. Berg Insight estimates the total global number of shipped external mobile broadband devices in 2011 to 102.5 million, with Europe and North America accounting for 26.6 million units and 8.1 million units respectively. Get up to date with the latest developments in this 160 page report in Berg Insight's NGT Research Series.


This report will allow you to:

Understand the dynamics of the European and North American mobile broadband connectivity market.

Gain access to all the latest data and statistics about this market.

Learn about the mobile broadband strategies of leading telecom operator groups.

Identify the key success factors for launching HSPA/LTE broadband on the consumer market. 

Evaluate the impact of HSPA+ and LTE technology in the mobile broadband market.

Anticipate the timing for mass-market availability of embedded HSPA/LTE modems in notebook PCs. 

Profit from valuable insights about the most successful business and technology propositions on the market.

Mobile broadband subscriptions in Europe

and North America grew by 23 percent in 2011 to reach 59 million

Mobile broadband based on HSPA/LTE and other mobile communication standards has taken off as an important technology for connecting mobile PCs and tablets to the Internet. The evolution is led by Europe where HSPA now accounts for 21.8 percent of the total number of broadband connections, compared to 18.1 percent in North America. The concept that was first launched as an exclusive business service is now a mass-market consumer product sold on an intensively competitive market. Consumers are utilizing their mobile broadband connections extensively, pushing the networks to their capacity limits. In Europe a large share of data traffic on mobile networks is generated by notebook PC users that surf the Internet.

The number of mobile broadband subscribers in Europe continues to increase, with demand fuelled by declining prices, improved user experience and new device categories. The total number of mobile broadband subscribers in EU 23+2 grew by 12.4 percent to reach 38.1 million in 2011, while the estimated operator revenues reached 6.8 billion. The mobile broadband subscriber base is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 10.7 percent to reach 70 million subscribers in 2017. However, mobile broadband subscription revenues will increase at a more moderate CAGR of 5.6 percent during this time period, as growth in subscriptions is largely offset by a decline in ARPU.

The number of mobile broadband subscribers in North America grew by 47 percent to reach 21.4 million in the end of 2011. The subscriber base is forecasted to grow at a CAGR of 16.3 percent to reach 53 million subscribers in 2017. The estimated operator revenues were about US$ 9.5 billion and are expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 7.6 percent to reach US$ 14.8 billion by 2017. The growth in North America is primarily driven by tablet data plans, which accounted for the vast majority of net additions in 2011. Subscriptions tied to USB modems, mobile hotspots and notebooks with embedded modules are also growing at a steady but more limited pace.  Mobile broadband terminals are available in different forms and shapes.  Four main types have emerged to satisfy different needs – PC-cards, USB modems, embedded modules and gateways. Berg Insight estimates the total global number of shipped external mobile broadband terminals in 2011 to 102.5 million. In addition, shipments of embedded modules totalled an estimated 9.3 million units. Terminal shipments to Europe and North America declined slightly in 2011 to 26.6 million units and 8.1 million units respectively. Data on terminal shipments for the first three quarters of 2012 indicates that the European market will decline by 21 percent in 2012. However, the market is likely to have stabilized and is projected to resume growth in 2013, driving mobile broadband terminal shipments to 34 million units in 2017. Shipments to North America are similarly forecasted to reach 13 million units in 2017. Expectations on embedded solutions for mobile PCs have been high during the past years, but the attach rate was still low at 4.2 percent in 2011. Embedded modules can potentially achieve a breakthrough in the tablet device segment, but the most probable scenario is that notebook PCs will continue to account for the vast majority of embedded module volumes.  The device ASP in Europe has fallen steeply over the past years and reached 30 in 2011. Berg Insight predicts that the ASP decline rate will slow down significantly in Europe during the next few years. The North American device market is characterized by a larger mix of mid-range and high-end products such as mobile hotspots, whereby the ASP increased to US$ 101 in 2011. The EU 23+2 external device market generated an estimated 796 million in 2011 while the North American market generated estimated revenues of 588 million.  Huawei has established itself as the world’s largest supplier of mobile broadband terminals holding a market share of 54 percent and has a particularly strong foothold in Europe. ZTE is the second largest vendor with clear margins capturing a market share of 34 percent. In North America, the local vendors Sierra Wireless and Novatel Wireless still hold strong positions. A vast majority of the external modems shipped are USB modems, but mobile hotspots are gaining in popularity. The embedded module market has been dominated by Ericsson and Qualcomm for years, but both companies decided to exit the market in 2010–2011. The market is thus in a transitional phase where new and existing vendors have an opportunity to capture market share as PC OEMs shift to the next generation of embedded modules.  What are the key drivers behind the adoption of mobile broadband connectivity?


This report answers the following questions:

Which markets have the highest penetration rates and which are lagging behind?

Who are the leading global providers of mobile broadband terminal devices?

What will be the future role of wireless chipset suppliers in the value chain?

When will embedded mobile broadband connectivity become a standard feature in mass-market notebook PCs?

What are the critical success factors needed to gain mass-market traction for mobile broadband connectivity?

How are the operators developing their segmentation and pricing strategies?

How is fixed-mobile convergence and telecom service bundling affecting the market?

What impact will LTE have on the mobile broadband connectivity market?

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