Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Infonetics Research: Mobile Broadband Card Sales grew 55% in 2009

A new report from Infonetics Research provides more evidence to the phenomenal growth in mobile Internet. The report main findings are:

  • Sales of mobile broadband card market (including standard and embedded cards) were up 55% in 2009 compared to 2008, at $6.4 billion worldwide, driven in large part by increasing adoption of HSPA

  • The number of mobile broadband subscribers surpassed DSL subscribers for the first time in 2009, and is forecast by Infonetics Research to grow to 1.5 billion worldwide in 2014 

"The effects of the recession continue to linger, with fewer than usual USB dongles and netbooks delivered at the end of 2009, making the normally seasonally-strong fourth quarter softer than expected for the mobile broadband device market. However, fundamental drivers remain strong and the market will continue to gather momentum, driven by HSPA, and we expect to see fewer growth blips in the future," notes Richard Webb, Infonetics Research's directing analyst for mobile devices.

More details - here.

Of course, one cannot compare the traffic generated by DSL subscribers to mobile units. Most mobile service plans are volume-limited (or usage bases) with high cost for each extra MB. So even if the total number of subscribers is now higher, the total traffic is still a fraction of the fixed network traffic. However, since the network capacity is very limited (radio, backhaul and peering links) congestion is a major problem for mobile operators and requires a DPI solution. This is a major reason for the recent growth in DPI sales, as reported by the public companies in this space.

On the same subject - a recent report from Fil Zucchi, founder and manager of Zebra Investment Advisors LLC - "Why Deep Packet Inspection Companies Are Important to Wireless Carriers" (here) summarizing: "Now more than ever carriers will need to determine who is using, and how their systems are being used, in order to customize their networks and service accordingly. In addition, part of the solution to the growing bottlenecks in the “wireless backhaul” portion of networks will be the ability to prioritize traffic as it’s sent from the towers to the core of the IP network ... these companies [Sandvine Corp., Bridgwater Systems, RedKnee Solutions, Infovista SA, and Allot Communications] may well be sitting in the sweet spot of the next evolution in broadband services."

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