Showing posts with label MBB. Show all posts
Showing posts with label MBB. Show all posts

Sunday 14 December 2008

340m 'Active' mobile broadband users by 2014

Mobile broadband computing (MBC) has grown very strongly in 2008, to 35m global subscribers. This is forecast to increase almost 10x by 2014, to 341m according to a new report titled "Mobile Broadband Computing" by Dean Bubley from Disruptive Analysis.

Some of the interesting highlights from the report as follows:
  • Growth has been driven by cheap HSDPA modems and flatrate data plans.
  • The majority of MBC users exploit conventional-seized laptops with separate 3G USB modems (“dongles”). This model will continue to lead despite the growth of netbooks, built-in 3G, WiMAX and MIDs (mobile Internet devices).
  • At present, Europe accounts for 50% of global mobile broadband users, reflecting earlier introduction of consumer-friendly USB dongles and ferociously-competitive low-priced HSDPA tariffs.
  • “Free” netbooks, provided on a subsidised basis by mobile operators on typical 2-year contracts are popular, but have a limited addressable market.
  • By the end of 2011, about 30% of mobile broadband users will be exploiting notebooks with built-in 3G or WiMAX modules. 58%, roughly twice that proportion, will use external modems like USB dongles.
  • By 2014, there will be 150m users of notebooks and netbooks with embedded mobile broadband worldwide. In terms of shipments, 100m wireless-enabled laptops will be sold annually by then – but not all will be activated.
  • By 2012, there will be 45m users of WiMAX-enabled MBC devices. 11m of these will also use 3G or LTE connections in various hybrid approaches.
  • Use of LTE in mobile broadband computing devices will be very limited until 2012. After that, ramp-up will be rapid, reaching 75m units shipped in 2014.
  • By 2011, only 40% of mobile broadband users will be on long-term monthly contracts. Most will use prepaid, session-based, bundled or “free” models.
Some of the other interesting points from the extended summary as follows:
  • Some operators' marketing teams have become over-zealous about competing with fixed broadband. In some markets, HSDPA is now cheaper than ADSL/cable. This is unsustainable, as the cost structures differ hugely. There are physical limits to the capacity of mobile data networks, which will rapidly be reached with the explosion of low-cost traffic. Some cellular networks now see more than 90% of 3G traffic from PCs. Network operators are now hostage to future high-bandwidth Internet applications gaining viral adoption among mobile users.
  • Adoption of embedded-3G and embedded-WiMAX notebooks will grow slowly alongside separate “dongle” modems. Predictions of 50%+ attach rates in 2-3 years are over-optimistic; there are numerous practical, commercial and economic reasons for delayed adoption
  • To date, most mobile broadband users have connected with an existing notebook PC, together with a separate datacard or USB dongle. Looking forward, a broader set of choices are emerging, with the advent of embedded-WWAN notebooks, small & inexpensive 7-10” sized netbooks, MIDs and the use of 3G handsets as “tethers”. Implicitly, these all compete to some degree against higher-end smartphones as well.
  • At present, the majority of mobile broadband subscribers are engaged through
    traditional monthly contracts, typically over 12-24 month periods. However, further evolution is necessary. Disruptive Analysis expects a variety of new business models to emerge and take a significant share of the overall user base, including:
    • Session-based access, similar to the familiar WiFi hotspot model.
    • Bundling of mobile broadband with other services, for example as an adjunct to fixed broadband or mobile voice services.
    • “Comes with data included” models, where the upfront device purchase price
      includes connectivity, perhaps for a year.
    • Free, guest or “sponsored” mobile broadband, paid for by venue owners or
      event organisers.
  • Incrementing capacity of Networks by perhaps another 10x in the next 6 years will need investment in more spectrum, more cell sites, newer radio technology, better backhaul and dedicated “hotspot” solutions like femtocells and WiFi. Yet in the current climate, these investments face delay, meaning a “capacity crunch” is possible in some cases.
On an unrelated note, More than 25 per cent of the content that workers view each day will be dominated by pictures, video or audio by 2013, according to research by Gartner. Though this does not specifically say mobile content, I think the same phenomenon will be observed in the mobile world and maybe to a larger extent with applications like Youtube already very popular with the mobile users.

Sunday 29 June 2008

Mobile broadband to overtake wired broadband by 2010

According to this report in Times Online, "By 2010, the mobile phone network will have overtaken home broadband as the primary way of connecting to the web, experts say".

I agree that more and more people are accessing web through their mobiles but replacing the connected web is still long way to go. There are many factors that will keep the connected web in business:

  • The mobile networks are not properly dimensioned and optimised to heavy data use
  • The networks are still not very reliable
  • The network backhaul is not good enough. Operators have been too cautious to upgrade their backhaul as it costs good money.
  • Mobile Web will never be suitable for large and medium business.
  • People who regularly watch Movies and Videos (inc. IPTV) over the net can never get desired quality over mobile (maybe for short time they can)

Things may change with the introduction of Femtocells but thats still long way away and anyway, the Femtos will use connected web to tunnel its data.

From the Times report:

Increased sales of laptops - which can be connected to the internet via the owner's mobile phone connection - the widespread roll out of high-speed mobile networks and the falling price of connecting to such networks have all contributed to the uptake of mobile broadband, they said.

One person in ten now regularly accesses the internet on a computer via a mobile phone connection, despite such services only having been on sale for less than a year, according to research released this week by You Gov. Of those, up to a third now connect their computers to the internet solely through the mobile network.

"This trend is as significant as the shift from home to mobile phones that took place in the mid Nineties," a spokesman for Top 10 Broadband, a price comparison site, said. "We predict that by 2010, mobile broadband will overtake home broadband as the default way to access the internet in the UK." A similar claim was made by Broadband Expert, another comparison site.

Mobile broadband takes advantage of high-speed 3G phone networks that can transfer data at speeds approaching those achieved by a fixed-line home internet connection. The customer plugs a small device known as a dongle into a laptop's USB port, and can then surf the web at speeds of about 1.5 megabits per second (Mbps).

Most home broadband packages advertising speeds of "up to 8Mbps" achieve speeds of 2.7Mbps, according to a study by Which? last year.

Prices have come down by 50 per cent from late last year, with a typical mobile broadband package now costing £15 a month - roughly on par with a fixed-line deal.

Via: WirelessMoves