UMTS Forum: 1B mobile devices to connect to Web by 2016

The UMTS Forum predicts 1 billion mobile devices will connect to the Internet by 2016, noting that mobile broadband will usher in cost-effective deployment of a wide array of mobile communications devices for business and personal use.

The forum said the biggest area for growth will be devices such as gaming consoles, ereaders, in-vehicle entertainment, home appliances and healthcare.

"We encourage operators and consumer electronics vendors to collaborate on developing new business models, like revenue sharing, that reduce upfront investment risk while generating new sources of value," said UMTS Forum chairman Jean-Pierre Bienaimé. "[Operators] must play a higher-profile role in managing the whole customer experience, from novel routes to market and technology platform management to packaged offerings that help 'mobilize' devices."

The forum also said that possible barriers to mobile broadband adoption include market and spectrum fragmentation, high chip prices and a lack of a clear value proposition for LTE among consumer electronics firms.

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