Nokia to enter dongle modem market

Nokia intends to enter the wireless broadband dongle market, and will launch its first dongle early next year.

The move will put Nokia in direct competition with Chinese vendor Huawei, which currently dominates the dongle market.

Nokia's vice president for hardware platform components, Tapio Markki, told Reuters the company believes it can leverage its know-how in developing 3G technologies to become one of the largest providers of HSPA modem solutions.

The company has yet to determine a price point for the first device, but has stated it will mostly be sold through operators, bundled with services.

According to Strategy Analytics, dongle modem sales are expected to reach 26 million next year, from 20 million in 2008.

This growth can be attributed to operators such as Vodafone, which are  promoting and subsidising the handsets because they see dongles as providing a secondary revenue stream beyond the traditional handset, the analysts have stated.