The levels of adoption of mobile broadband vary significantly across Europe.
According to a new research report from the analyst firm Berg Insight, HSPA/LTE accounted for 20.6 percent of the total number of broadband connections in Europe at the end of 2010. The number of HSPA/LTE mobile broadband subscribers (connected PCs and tablets) grew by 33 percent year-on-year in 2010 to reach 33.9 million and is forecasted to continue to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18.9 percent to 96 million by 2016. The North American market has so far evolved at a slower pace, with mobile broadband accounting for just 13.2 percent of the total number of connections. Between 2010 and 2016, the North American market is forecasted to grow at a CAGR of 25.8 percent to reach 58 million subscribers at the end of the period.
The levels of adoption of mobile broadband vary significantly across Europe. “Austria is the most advanced market with a penetration rate of over 20 percent, corresponding to 46 percent of all broadband connections in the country. Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Ireland and Portugal also have penetration rates above 10 percent. Belgium, Switzerland and Greece have on the other hand penetration rates of less than 3 percent”, said Lars Kurkinen, Telecom Analyst, Berg Insight. Also the pricing varies across different markets, with subscriptions costing around four times more in the most expensive countries compared to the least expensive ones. The lowest prices can be found in the Baltic countries, Poland and Austria with average monthly prices ranging € 8–11 for a 3 GB bundle at a data rate of at least 3.6 Mbps. The highest prices can be found in Switzerland and Spain (€ 40 per month).
Huawei has established itself as the world’s largest supplier of mobile broadband terminals holding a market share of 49 percent and has a particularly strong foothold in Europe. ZTE is the second largest vendor with clear margins capturing a market share of 31 percent. Berg Insight estimates the total global number of shipped external mobile broadband devices in 2010 to 92.7 million, with Europe and North America accounting for 27.4 million units and 8.5 million units respectively. In addition, shipments of embedded modules reached an estimated 9.5 million units. Two of the largest telecom vendors – Ericsson and Qualcomm – entered the market for embedded solutions in 2008 and have managed to sign contracts with many of the major notebook vendors. The two companies captured a market share of 83 percent together on this market in 2010.
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