Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Mobile broadband - upto 50 billion devices connected by 2020

Mobile broadband market is now entering its second wave, where one size no longer fits all, mobile broadband is complementing fixed broadband rather than cannibalizing it, and prepaid and smartphones are fast emerging to join dongles. Service innovation, product differentiation and user experience - rather than pricing - will be the key factors going forward, according to industry sources.
  • Ericsson, the market leader predicts up to 50 billion devices are expected to be connected by 2020 and  some 3.4 billion will be broadband users by 2015 from a mere 360 million in 2009. 
  • Nokia Siemens Networks had much earlier predicted upto 5 billion devices connected by 2015. Latest reports indicate that  by July,2010 it is already achieved.
Ericsson tips machine-to-machine communications (M2M) as a key component in the future growth of the mobile industry, driven by devices such as smart meters, tracking solutions in the logistics industry, digital signage, cameras, and vending machines which can reorder for themselves
Mobile broadband is the name used to describe various types of wireless high-speed internet access through a portable modem, telephone or other device. The phrase "Mobile Broadband" is largely a wireless carrier marketing tool. The actual "non-Mobile Phone" Mobile networks are very small subscriber base (Mobile WiMax, iBurst, Flash-OFDMA, IPW and portable Satellite terminals) compared to Fixed Wireless Broadband. 

  • A misleading vendor tactic is to quote the peak Mast speed as the user speed. This is like quoting exchange total speed for DSL or total cable bandwidth for Cable users. It has little resemblance to real world performance.
  • Another misleading tactics often used by standards proponents are for eg. stating WiMax or Mobile broadband. WiMax other than splitting the available spectrum and is in trouble where most large telecom operators stopped any development on WiMax.
On 11 December 2002, the IEEE Standards Board approved the establishment of IEEE 802.20, the Mobile Broadband Wireless Access (MBWA) Working Group.The mission of IEEE 802.20 is to develop the specification for an efficient packet based air interface that is optimized for the transport of IP based services. The goal is to enable worldwide deployment of affordable, ubiquitous, always-on and interoperable multi-vendor mobile broadband wireless access networks that meet the needs of business and residential end user markets.


The main barrier to the take up of mobile broadband will be the coverage the mobile phone networks can provide, in many areas customers will not be able to achieve the speeds advertised due to mobile data coverage limitations. In addition, there are also issues with connectivity, network capacity, application quality, and mobile network operators' overall inexperience with data traffic. Demand from emerging markets fuels a large share of growth in Mobile Broadband over the coming years. Without the need to start from the basis of a widespread fixed line infrastructure, many emerging markets leapfrog developed markets and use Mobile Broadband technologies to deliver high-speed internet access to the mass market.

The global Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) family of standards - which includes GSM, EDGE, WCDMA, HSPA and LTE – is the most widespread way to deliver mobile broadband. 3GPP standards are serving about 90 percent of the world’s mobile subscribers.

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