Sales of mobile data cards, which enable laptop users to access the internet
over cellular broadband networks, are set to nearly quadruple between 2007 and
2011, according to a report by Infonetics Research.
Mobile data cards could eventually even threaten the WiFi hotspot market as
HSDPA and EVDO cellular data networks become available in more locations, and
at lower prices.
“The mobile data services market is becoming more competitive, as mobile
operators try to recoup their investments in 3G networks and drive up flattening
ARPU (average revenue per user),” said Infonetics wireless analyst, Richard
Webb. “Currently, mobile data services are generally too expensive for mass
market adoption, but that will change with the increasingly extensive rollout of
high speed HSDPA, the launch of new data plans offering increased download
limits, and better subsidies for mobile data cards.”
“The iPhone has proven that if the user experience is right, users will take
advantage of mobile devices for Internet sessions,” Webb went on to say.
The number of mobile data subscribers worldwide is expected to accelerate
dramatically over the next few years, reaching 144 million in 2011. Sales of
data cards, meanwhile, are projected to hit $2.9 billion that year.
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