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Analysts Tout Mobile Broadband Revolution
By: MarkJ - 24 July, 2007 (1:24 PM)

The analyst firm Frost & Sullivan has hailed mobile broadband’s increasingly important role in future communication and Internet access services. With more than 62% of the worlds population (6.6 billion) connected to a cellular network, it's easy to see why.

This situation is paving the way for various emerging wireless technologies (Mobile WiMAX etc.) to make major inroads into the market:

European carriers’ dependence on voice to increase ARPU can no longer be a driving factor, given the prevailing saturated market and various alternatives such as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and reduced local and roaming call charges due to regulatory policies”, notes Frost & Sullivan Programme Manager, Luke Thomas. “As a result, carriers are now keenly looking at various next generation mobile broadband technologies so as to increase their ARPU in data applications and remain profitable in the long term”.

Current Mobile WiMAX standards are not yet optimised for mobile VoIP at vehicular speeds. “Therefore, Mobile WiMAX will initially target the ultra mobile PC or PC tablet market rather than the mobile smartphone market”, states Thomas.

xMax technology will potentially enable service providers to promote unlimited local and long distant voice calls as well as unlimited text messages at very low monthly prices. xMax is a likely prospect to be the first 4G technology to be commercially available in 2008. Once 3G LTE is a ratified standard, its performance characteristics will be superior to Mobile WiMAX.

Indeed, over recent months the price of UK based mobile broadband services has begun to drop, propelling said technologies ever closer to consumer acceptable price points.

We can't help but wonder how long it will be before mobile broadband services begin to pose a serious threat to fixed-line alternatives. Never underestimate the desire for access flexibility. Presently it's still too restrictive and costly for what you get.

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