One Billion Mobile Broadband Users by 2012

The internet is about to become even more ubiquitous, according to analyst firm Juniper Research. In a report released today, analysts predict that nearly one in three mobile subscribers around the world, representing over one billion users, will use a mobile broadband connection by 2012. The growth will lead to mobile broadband service revenues totalling over $400 billion worldwide, driven by demand from North America, Western Europe and, to a lesser extent, the Far East and China. Juniper says that High-Speed Packet Access (HSPA), which includes HSDPA and HSUPA as well as upcoming versions, will dominate mobile broadband network deployments over the next five years, consistently accounting for about 70 per cent of the total mobile broadband subscriber base until 2012.

"HSPA's in-service status in 2007 makes it already the most advanced mobile broadband technology, with many further deployments due in the near and medium term," said Howard Wilcox, the report's author. "For the 3G service provider base, HSPA represents a software upgrade rather than a new network investment. HSPA will also benefit from technology 'leap' subscribers in the developing nations, and handset churn elsewhere, with users migrating to HSPA-based broadband as the norm."

The report also predicts the growth of WiMax, a high-speed wireless network technology capable of spanning for many miles; WiMax could achieve single digit percentages in world-wide usage. Alongside the growth of WiMAX, the report predicts that Evolution-Data Optimised (EV-DO) technology, which is a standard for the wireless transmission of data using radio signals, will be the next most prolific technology driven by extensive penetration of the Americas and Far East.

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