Mobile business to boom over next five years

Analyst predicts almost 60% growth in mobile business connections due to high speed networks and proliferation of converged devices and mobile connectivity solutions

The wider availability of wireless broadband networks, proliferation of smartphones and other converged devices, in addition to widening ranges of mobile connectivity solutions, will result in an almost 60% growth of mobile business connections according to a new report by Juniper Research.

Future Mobile Enterprise : Forecasts, Markets & Devices 2009-2014 suggests that the mobiel business connectivity growth will foster the emergence of the ‘unwired enterprises’ which will likely yield $247 billion of revenues generated by mobile enterprise service usage, suggests the research firm. Juniper predicts that by 2014, 722 million business mobile connections will be in use worldwide with approximately 80% of business mobile devices operating via 3.5/3.9G networks.

Even though Juniper says that handsets will dominate, accounting for upwards of 70% of business devices in the latter part of the period, it adds that in order to increase the effectiveness of employees in the field, businesses will likely increasingly make use of embedded and wireless dongles via laptop PCs and netbooks.

Adding more depth, Juniper sees usage of wireless dongles losing ground to usage of devices with embedded wireless modems and their usage will peak in 2010/2011. This should result in the number of enterprise portable computers with embedded wireless connectivity to grow by more than 300% between 2008 and 2014. In all, Juniper expects annual portable computer shipment volumes to exceed 300 million by 2014, accounting for over three quarters of all computer shipments by the end of that year.

According to Mobile Enterprise report author Andrew Kitson, the rapid evolution of mobile computing devices is of particular relevance. He said, “By the end of 2009, portables will account for around 60% of annual PC sales, suggesting that businesses are placing less emphasis on desktop machines and investing on combined laptop-and-phone packages for employees. As 3G networks proliferate, so it will become more cost effective to replicate the desktop solution with a wireless device. And with dongles proving to be easy to lose or damage, so businesses will increasingly turn to inexpensive notebooks incorporating wireless accesses.”

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