Ericsson: Mobile Broadband Will Hit 1 Billion Users This Year!

by Gaurav Kheterpal on January 17, 2011

2010 was a transformational year for the mobile broadband industry as it reached the half-a-billion user mark. Telecom giant Ericsson predicts year 2011 to be the defining year for mobile broadband technology with the user base expected to touch the one billion mark.

Mobile broadband has often been touted as a win-win proposition for all parties – wireless operators (helps boost revenues), network providers (infrastructure upgrade, purchase of advanced equipment) and last but not the least – end users as they get a high speed internet broadband experience on portable devices.

While there are reasons to be bullish on the future prospects of mobile broadband, it’s a double-edged sword as operators would soon be under pressure to meet growing demands in both developed and emerging markets. Will year 2011 be remembered as the “Year of Mobile Broadband” or the year when mobile broadband bubble eventually burst? Only time will tell.

Ericsson says that Asia Pacific will account for the greatest number of subscriptions, around 400 million, followed by North America and Western Europe with more than 200 million each. The company believes mobile broadband user base will surpass 3.8 billion by year 2015. Thank God, there’s at least one company which believes that the world isn’t going to end in 2012.

The telecom giant says faster networks, cheap notebooks, tablets and smartphones have fueled the ongoing mobile broadband revolution. I strongly believe that Apple in particular has been a great ambassador for the mobile broadband industry. The iPhone started the mobile broadband revolution and the iPad further stepped up the ante last year. With hundreds of Android smartphones launched last year and an army of Android-based tablets set to be launched this year, Google too has passively joined the cause of promoting mobile broadband.

Understandably, Ericsson has benefited enormously from the recent mobile internet boom as its affiliate carriers have been forced to upgrade their network infrastructure in order to cope up with the increasing data demands. It’s an active player in the broadband segment with a number of solutions spanning multiple technologies including HSPA (High-Speed Packet Access), LTE, CDMA2000 EV-DO, Mobile WiMAX and TD-SCDMA.

It’s fair to say that smartphones have transformed the way we communicate and connect with each other. The decreasing cost of smartphones has encouraged a large number of people take the leap from being feature phone owners to more tech-savvy devices. It’s hard to believe that the concept of on-the-go mobile internet was a distant reality few years back. Mobile phones were used to make & receive calls and do nothing beyond that. Fast forward to year 2011 – who could have predicted that mobile broadband will surpass wired broadband sooner than later?

Are wireless carriers worldwide equipped to handle the explosive growth in mobile broadband this year? I’m not so sure.

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Written by: Gaurav Kheterpal. www.digitcom.ca >. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com > by: RSS>, Twitter >, Identi.ca >, or Friendfeed >

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