By Ajinder Singh, Texas Instruments
Embedded.com (01/25/10, 03:30:00 PM EST)
High-end, cool smartphones and the ecosystem around them are symbolic of the fact that consumers want mobile broadband and applications that can help them connect to information, family and friends seamlessly.
Thus, mobile broadband is clearly today's growth engine for the telecom industry [1,2}. Telecom operators have seen huge growth in wireless data revenue in recent years despite the economic slow down. Meteoric growth in netbooks and HSDPA-USB dongles is also an indication that consumers want mobile broadband, not only in their homes and offices, but anywhere they go.
Missing in the mobile Internet today is the "wow" experience. Consumers still get discouraged by download speeds or degraded graphics while accessing data on their mobile devices. Applications such as video blogging and online gaming rely on faster connectivity and lower latency. Faster and reliable connectivity will help exploit the applications built around cloud computing and, thus, make our mobile office experience not limited by the mobile device's hardware processing capability.
Mobile operators are counting on the fact that even now, out of the 4.3 billion wireless users, approximately 80 percent are voice-only GSM users. Thus, the growth opportunity over the next five to ten years is to capture three billion users who can subscribe to mobile broadband. Growth can also potentially come from another set of devices like IPTV, digital cameras, etc., that have mobile broadband connectivity and can enable new services, generating more revenue for mobile operators.
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