Trends Report

Mobile Broadband USB Modems Take Off In Europe

Should Residential Fixed Broadband Product Strategists Be Worried?

July 22nd, 2008
With contributors:
Michelle de Lussanet , Laura Wiramihardja

Summary

Since 2007, mobile broadband USB modem sales have rocketed; their fast uptake has caught everyone by surprise, including the mobile operators that actually sell this product. Their success is worrying product strategists at fixed operators as they struggle to assess the impact on their residential fixed broadband business. Will growing mobility lead to consumers substituting their fixed connections with mobile? Many observers predict that mobile broadband connections will overtake fixed within the next five years. Our forecast for consumer mobile broadband refutes that, but we do see an erosion of new business in the late-adopter market for broadband services. We foresee as many as 50% of late adopters — households that are new to broadband — buying mobile broadband instead of fixed. We recommend that product strategists at fixed operators target this segment with greater precision and more relevant promotions in response.

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