The rise of mobile broadband

Posted on April 18, 2007 
Filed Under Uncategorized

Mobile broadband on digital cameras, media players and portable game devices is poised for growth, according to a study by ABI Research.

Annual shipments of such devices are expected to approach 100 million by 2012.


“In the near term, connected portable devices will rely more on 3G cellular connections,” said principal ABI analyst Philip Solis.

“However, the 3G market is fragmented. There is EV-DO and there is HSPA, and different carriers are using different frequencies in different regions of the world.

“Such fragmentation represents a significant challenge. In addition, such devices must compete against smartphones that increasingly include similar functions.”

Solis added that the first products have already appeared, all from South Korea.

Two portable video players – Digital Cube’s iStationNetforce and Cowon’s Q5 – offer 3G connections through add-on HSDPA modules.

The first true device of this class, offering embedded HSDPA, is Samsung’s VLUU i70 digital camera.

The 7.2-megapixel device also shoots video, reads e-books, receives T-DMB television, plays MP3s and video, and allows the user to send or download photos and videos.

Solis says in the longer-term, WiMax has more potential than cellular-based connections. “It is an IP-based network with simpler architecture and better connection to the Internet. Sprint, with its commitment to WiMax, will promote such devices heavily, helping US markets keep up with Korea and Japan in the process.”

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