High-bandwidth networks drive mobile Internet take up

3G network deployments have contributed to a sharp uptake in cellular modem adoption to provide wireless connectivity to laptops, UMPCs and desktop computers

3G network deployments have contributed to a sharp uptake in cellular modem adoption to provide wireless connectivity to laptops, UMPCs and desktop computers, according to a new study from ABI Research.

The 2007 study, Cellular Modems and Mobile Broadband Connectivity, revealed that cellular modem sales, including PC Cards, Express Cards, USB modems, embedded modems and 3G/Wi-Fi routers cumulatively, increased more than 300% compared to 2006. The firm forecasts that by 2013, shipments of cellular modems will exceed 200 million units.

The factors driving this market, said ABI, go beyond a very competitive modem supplier market and 3G networks. Enterprise customers have been the traditional buyers of these devices, but the analyst firms said that as operators have expanded their portfolio of mobile broadband price plans, this has opened up the market to SMB and consumer demand.

In addition, it predicted that Qualcomm’s Gobi, the eventual consolidation to GSM 3G and 4G networks, and WiMAX will all have positive effects on the supply chain, creating cellular-enabled devices which will drive up sales of embedded modems.

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