Mobile broadband to overtake DSL by 2015

Intel is pushing WiMAX as a 4G mobile broadband winner
Intel is pushing WiMAX as a 4G mobile broadband winner

Chuck out that cable modem and stick two fingers up to BT, broadband is going mobile and will account for over half of all connections by 2015, according to a new reports from telecoms analysts Analysys Mason.

According to the Analysys Mason report, there will be 148 million mobile broadband connections in Europe by 2014, with an annual growth rate of 46 per cent ensuring 3G and 4G connections soon outnumber cable and DSL internet links.

The continent will see casual users opting for prepaid subscriptions rather than the commitment of a monthly contract, accounting for nearly 60 per cent of mobile broadband connections in 2014, up from just 8 per cent last year.

Analysys Mason estimates that mobile broadband will account for 5.7 per cent of all telecoms service revenue in Europe by the end of 2014, up from 1.7 per cent in 2008.

WiMAX coming on strong

The WiMAX forum has also been gazing into its crystal ball, predicting that over 800 million people worldwide will have access to a WiMAX network as soon as next year.

Already, 430 million people can make use of the 460 WiMAX deployments in more than 135 countries for fixed, portable, and mobile web access.

"WiMAX coverage is the catalyst in the global marketplace to deliver 4G broadband Internet access to countries that don't want to wait," said Ron Resnick, president and chairman of the WiMAX Forum.

"Certified products in the 3.5 GHz band will now give more operators access to the equipment and devices needed to deliver mobile broadband services," he continued.

Sprint Nextel has just announced that it will be launching a 'tri-mode' handset featuring WiMAX, CDMA and (probably) Wi-Fi voice connectivity, sometime next year. The handset 'could be based on Android' according a company spokesman.

Mark Harris is Senior Research Director at Gartner.