The take up of 3.5G mobile broadband is expected to explode
, industry analysts have predicted. The number of subscribers worldwide is expected to increase from 2.5 million in 2006 to more than 300 million in 2011. However, market growth in 2006-07 will be restrained by a lack of compelling devices, but this is not expected to last beyond 2007.
It is expected that handsets will start to mature in 2008, leading to a sharp increase
in 3.5G handset sales and subscribers in the following year. Malik Saadi, principal analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media and co-author of the Future Mobile Broadband Strategic Report notes that most HSDPA services are launching with only PC cards and notebooks, although a number of early handsets are also arriving. He also notes that as of June no major vendor has unveiled plans for EV-DO Rev. A.
"Mobile WiMax will play a relatively minor role in the mobile broadband market through 2011, largely because mobile WiMax notebooks and tablets will not arrive in volume until 2008-09, and compelling mobile WiMax handsets won't arrive until 2010," said report co-author Mike Roberts, principal analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media.
"By comparison HSDPA notebooks and handsets are already shipping, which means that the HSDPA device market is one to two years ahead of the mobile WiMax device market."