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Mobile Broadband Devices and Subscribers Upside

Infonetics Research recently published its fourth quarter 2G/3G and LTE Mobile Broadband Devices and Subscribers report -- which tracks mobile broadband cards.

"The effects of the recession continue to linger, with fewer than usual USB dongles and netbooks delivered at the end of 2009, making the normally seasonally-strong fourth quarter softer than expected for the mobile broadband device market. However, fundamental drivers remain strong and the market will continue to gather momentum, driven by HSPA, and we expect to see fewer growth blips in the future," notes Richard Webb, Infonetics Research's directing analyst for mobile devices.

The Infonetics quarterly mobile broadband card report provides worldwide and regional market size, market share, analysis, and forecasts for mobile broadband cards by technology, device, and operating system, as well as mobile broadband subscribers.

Highlights from the Infonetics market study include:

- While the mobile broadband card market (including standard and embedded cards) was soft overall in 4Q09, sales are up 55 percent in 2009 compared to 2008, at $6.4 billion worldwide, driven in large part by increasing adoption of HSPA (High Speed Packet Access).

- The number of mobile broadband subscribers surpassed DSL subscribers for the first time in 2009, and is forecast by Infonetics Research to grow to 1.5 billion worldwide in 2014.

- Sales of Windows-based netbooks are forecast to reach $5.9 billion in 2014; Mac-based netbooks will be the second-highest selling, followed by Linux-based netbooks.

- Mobile broadband PC cards, including USB modems (dongles), accounted for 74 percent of total mobile broadband card revenue in 2009, and embedded mobile broadband cards on PCs, netbooks, and mobile Internet devices (MIDs) made up 26 percent.

- LTE-based mobile broadband embedded PC card sales are forecast to top $3 billion in 2014.

- Mobile router sales suffered heavily from the impact of the economic recession in 2009, with revenue down 28 percent from the previous year; growth is expected to return in 2010 and beyond, as more mobile operators offer them through their channels.

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