Thursday, January 8, 2009

USA: Parks Associates forecasts mass-market mobile broadband

A new report from international research firm Parks Associates finds mobile broadband is transitioning into a mainstream service that could withstand the current economic downturn. Nearly 60 million smartphone units will be sold in 2013, which will increase consumer reliance on mobile broadband connectivity, according to Mobile Broadband: Beyond the Cell Phone. This adoption level will enable carriers and manufacturers to establish new revenue streams and create a stickier customer base.

"Smartphones will be the most popular mobile broadband access devices," said Anton Denissov, research analyst, Parks Associates. "Consumers will grow more comfortable with mobile broadband, and the service will become part of their daily lives, as they will be able to surf the Web, play games, share pictures, and connect via social networks from anywhere. This tight integration makes the service a utility that remains popular even during economic downturns."

Consumer comfort with mobile connectivity will create demand for the same functionality in non-phone devices. Parks Associates estimates that in 2013, U.S. consumers will purchase over five million connected cameras, over one million 3G-enabled MIDs (portable media players), and over two million 3G-enabled netbooks (mini-PCs).

"Embedding mobile broadband connectivity into non-phone devices creates new revenue opportunities for carriers, CE manufacturers, media companies, and advertisers," Denissov said. "To penetrate the mainstream consumer market, however, these companies must work in tandem to create services and devices that are affordable, entertaining, and simple to use."

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