Broadband, in all Forms, Grows in 2011, Mobile Broadband Grows Fastest

By some estimates, 2011 was the year when mobile broadband subscriptions surpassed fixed broadband connections globally for the first time, according to Ericsson.

Others would say mobile broadband subscribers surpassed wireline broadband subscribers in 2010 (558 million in June 2010, compared to  500 million in 2009).

In 2016, Pyramid Research forecasts there will be 592 million LTE subscriptions in service, equivalent to 7.3 percent of all cellular subscriptions at that time, and almost certainly surpassing the world’s total of fixed-line broadband connections.

The largest LTE device segment will be dongles used to connect PCs, through 2014. But after 2014, the PC segment will be replaced by smart phone connections. LTE forecast

To date, 35 mobile operators have launched commercial LTE networks, a range of 197 devices have become available and the technology is maturing since the first network became live in late 2009.

Still, three out of five device models (60 percent) are discrete modems, either routers or PC add-on devices. 

The initial focus of all operators is mobile broadband access for PCs, Pyramid Research points out, and these subscriptions represent around 80 percent of all mobile data traffic, even though they account for fewer than four percent of mobile subscriptions.

Also, a  total of 17.4 million broadband lines were added globally during the third quarter of  2011.
Fiber to home, building or cabinet connections grew by 19 million lines during the third quarter.

Broadband Forum says that now fiber technologies account for 16 percent of total broadband market share and will soon catch up to cable, which stands at 19.5 percent. Broadband growth
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