Operators lick their lips over laptop data boom

There will be more than 36 million laptops connected to mobile data networks in Western Europe in 2009, compared to the 26 million estimated for the end of this year, say researchers CCS Insight.

The research, reported by IDG News Service, reckons growth will be slightly greater than in 2008, with all the carriers getting in on the act and in some cases recruiting partners to offer fixed and mobile broadband.

For example, in Sweden, cable operator Com Hem is collaborating with 3 to offer subscribers mobile as well as cable broadband. The goal is for them to become one-stop shops for broadband, according to Paolo Pescatore, analyst at CCS Insight.

Another big trend during 2009 will be packaging of mobile broadband in various new ways, the report says,, such as packaging mobile phones and laptop connectivity.

Pescatore  is quoted saying, 'We are already seeing that today: whereby 3 here in the UK is saying that if you take out a contract with us we'll also throw in mobile broadband at a 50% discount'.

Browsing on mobile devices and laptop connectivity is becoming an increasingly important source of revenue for operators in developed, mobile-saturated markets.

For the mobile data operators both browsing on mobile devices and laptop connectivity will become an even more important source of revenue.

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