While the mobile phone is by far the most common device used to connect to mobile networks, the number of non-handset mobile devices is set to grow dramatically – reports ARCchart.
These category of products, termed ‘Mobile Internet Peripherals and Devices’ encompass products such as data cards, laptops, ultra-mobile PCs, game consoles, eBooks, digital signs, ATMs and host of other M2M applications. Sitting within all these devices is a wireless data module providing a connection to a wide-area network.
ARCchart forecasts that unit shipment of these mobile data modules will grow from a base of 10 million in 2007 to 370 million units by 2013, representing a market value of $11 billion.
There are several factors driving the proliferation of these devices. “In their pursuit of higher ARPU, network operators have become a key driving force.” says Kaustubha Parkhi, ARCchart Senior Analyst, “Their willingness to subsidise the cost of devices such as data cards, laptops and UMPC is making them affordable to a wider base of consumers.”
ARCchart estimates that the service revenue generated by operators from these products will hit US$93 billion worldwide by 2013.
In terms of technology, HSPA is set to lead the market. However, over the coming years, mobile WiMAX is set to bring coverage to metropolitan areas and developing markets. ARCchart predicts that WiMAX-enabled peripherals and devices will be the fastest growing technology category, reaching 81 million units by 2013.