There is a great deal of focus on mobile broadband and this market is developing into one of the fastest selling products in mobile history. There is also a great deal of attention on the smartphone market, especially the iPhone and how many view its role regarding the development of mobile broadband.
Strand Consult’s analyses has found information about the mobile broadband market is very misleading and that is no connection between which devices create traffic in the mobile operators’ networks and which devices receive press coverage.
In a great many countries mobile broadband market to becoming a serious alternative to fixed broadband that is dominated by DSL technology. In Austria and Slovakia, over 30% of broadband connections are mobile.
In Norway and Finland, DSL penetration is dropping and mobile broadband has proved that it is a real alternative to DSL for many customers. Customers are purchasing a combination of wireless routers with built-in 3G, PCs with built-in 3G modems and dongles that can be used with older PCs.
Why are people buying smartphones and broadband modems? Is it because they want an advanced handset to access the internet, or because the phone manufacturers are moving the focus to these devices to raise the average price of the phones they sell? We believe it is the latter.
We also believe that many operators are moving subsidies away from phones to PCs.
In our report http://www.strandreports.com/sw3293.asp we have taken a closer look at these issues and concluded that the sales of portable PCs with built-in mobile broadband will cannibalise the sales of smartphones. On the other hand the price developments on the mobile broadband market are working against subsidising portable PCs.
We know that in many markets, mobile broadband traffic is being sold at up to 50% below the price that it actually costs to produce that traffic. In that kind of market there is no room for the subsidies on offer in many places.