Why Read This
Mobile operators' cellular data access plans are no longer reserved for road-warrior business travelers and super-connected individuals, as consumers are increasingly interested in obtaining broadband outside the home. But mobile operators be warned: Consumers have an increasing array of options when it comes to connecting to the Internet away from home. Wi-Fi hotspots, Wi-Fi mesh networks, and new WiMAX services all threaten the domain previously served only by mobile operators. Forrester's survey data shows that 62% of North American online consumers with access to a laptop are interested in connecting to the Internet outside the home, which supports Forrester's forecast that the number of cellular data access subscriptions in the US will rise by 74% between 2008 and 2013. Consumer product strategists at mobile operators should protect their wireless broadband turf by promoting ubiquitous broadband services that combine fixed and wireless access, either through affiliates or partner carriers. Introducing low-cost/low-usage tiers will also drive subscriptions and data revenues while placing a lower burden on the capacity of the wireless network.