Report: Laptops, netbooks to drive exponential mobile broadband growth

The impact of netbooks and laptops on the growth of mobile data traffic has been significant, but a new study from Coda Research Consultancy claims that by 2017, some 418 million users worldwide will be using these devices and generating 1.8 exabytes of traffic per month, representing a 40-fold increase over 2009.

The consultancy forecasts that mobile broadband revenues of more than $50 billion will come from netbook/laptop users by 2017, with the Asia-Pacific region leading with 162 million users. Europe will see 94 million users while North America is expected to reach 58 million.

Coda Research said half of all mobile broadband users via laptops and netbooks worldwide will be using LTE connections. LTE users will hit 38 million in 2013 after a ramp up in LTE production in 2012, and will rise to 209 million by 2017, a 1,100 percent increase over 2012, the firm further forecasts.

"LTE take up will be greatly skewed toward European and North American markets in the short to medium term, where ARPU will be highest. However, we will also see significant take up in China, and we may also see countries like India bypass 3G altogether, and move straight to LTE," said Steve Smith, consultant with Coda Research.

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