Friday, January 16th, 2009 - RichWeb Media Ltd
2008 saw mobile wireless broadband sales increase by around 40% yet Broadband Expert analyst Rob Webber believes this is only the tip of the iceberg with the technology set to experience huge growth in 2009. Webber believes Australia will experience comparable growth to Western European countries where research company CSS Insight estimated around 26 million laptops where connected to mobile data networks by the end of the year with some countries witnessing an 18% month on month growth for the first 6 months of 2008.

Webber believes that “the convenience of being able to access social networking sites like Facebook, visit shopping sites or read the news on the beach, the train or even the pub will see mobile broadband overtake fixed broadband sales within 3 years.”

Mobile broadband, offered by the likes of 3, Dodo, Vodafone, Virgin and Optus, works by simply plugging an internet key into the USB port of a computer or laptop to give access to the provider’s 3G mobile network. Most major Australian cities have coverage though as more is invested in the networks supporting mobile broadband there should be a significant increase in coverage and speeds. Furthermore prices are falling as providers fight for a share of this growing market. Webber cites the example of 3 who have recently followed Vodafone and Optus in cutting prices and plan to double the maximum speed of their mobile broadband network from 3.6Mbs to 7.2Mbs in 2009.

With mobile broadband being so well suited to laptops Broadband Expert is predicting that mobile broadband sales will be boosted further by an increase in packages offering a laptop as part of the deal. These deals are likely to prove attractive as the consumer can spread the cost of a new laptop over the length of their mobile broadband contract. Such deals proved so popular in the UK that many retailers ran out of stock in the run up to Christmas. Similar deals are already being offered by Dodo in Australia with Vodafone set to follow suit in early 2009 by offering a Dell Netbook (miniature laptop) with built in mobile broadband.

However, Webber does issue a word of warning to mobile broadband users to keep track of their usage since “exceeding download limits can prove expensive with additional charges for exceeding these limits often very costly”. The lower download limits of mobile broadband (in comparison to home broadband) mean the technology is less suitable for heavy internet users including those who regularly download films and online gamers who are better suited to faster home broadband services with high download limits. This problem is likely to be addressed in 2009 as the providers improve their networks and higher data usage packages become available.

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Broadband Expert ( ) is part of RichWeb Media Pty, a privately owned Australian company. Broadband Expert provide advice and information to allow consumers to make more informed decisions when purchasing broadband or mobile broadband services.
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Broadband comparison website is predicting sales of mobile broadband to double in 2009 and overtake fixed line broadband services within 3 years.


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