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Mobile-only broadband market to reach one billion by 2015


By the year 2015, one billion people will access the internet solely through mobile devices, according to new research from analyst Ovum. Yet another reason for the mobile industry to feel smug. But does this mean fixed broadband will go the way of Betamax, Commodore 64, and stonewash?

Ovum predicts Asia-Pacific will soon lead the fixed-mobile services (FMS) market, with a forecast increase from 119.1 million users in 2011 to 518.4 million users by 2015. Senior analyst, Nicole McCormick, said Asia-Pacific’s FMS growth is largely due to a lack of fixed-line infrastructure in populous markets, such as China and India.

Although FMS is on-course to experience aggressive growth, fixed broadband will also increase its reach in the four years to 2015. Broadband Fixed Mobile Convergence – where users buy both fixed and mobile broadband services – is forecast to increase by 120% globally in that period.

“Bundling opportunities are expected to gather pace in Asia… Operators continue to seek ways to protect their fixed line revenue bases,” Ms McCormick said.

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) supported findings of mobile broadband’s growing importance. Secretary-General Hamadoun Toure claimed mobile internet “generates jobs, drives growth and productivity, and underpins long-term economic competitiveness” in developing countries by “connecting the world”.

More key stats on the global mobile market

  • Researcher Gartner predicts that in 2011 85% of mobile phones shipped globally will be web-enabled.
  • Mobile technology company CellTrust predicts that, come 2015, 52% of the top 50 brands in North America will spend between 5-25% of their overall budgets on mobile marketing.
  • Google currently makes $1 billion in annual mobile ad revenues.
  • According to SMS marketing company, Tatango, the average open rate for an SMS is 98% compared to 22% for email.
  • Apple’s App Store recently celebrated its 1 billionth download