Global mobile broadband users hit 50 million

The GSM Association (GSMA) announced that the number of worldwide subscribers using Mobile Broadband (HSPA) networks has topped the 50 million mark from 11 million one year ago.

Global uptake of HSPA technology among consumers and businesses is accelerating, indicating continued traffic growth for high-speed mobile networks worldwide. Wireless Intelligence expects the number of HSPA connections to be growing by 4 million per month by the end of 2008.

The number of operators with commercial HSPA networks has reached 191 and there are now over 740 HSPA-enabled devices (including mobiles, dongles and notebooks) available from 116 manufacturers.

While the GSMA hails this as a great success, in fact there has been widespread dissatisfaction with the quality of service and speed provided via dongles and the spectre of churn is hovering.