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Growth Of Mobile Broadband Subscribers Slides

from the what-can-$60-per-month-buy-you? dept

Mobile operators around the world have been pushing the sales of data modems and laptop dongles in a bid to grow their subscriber figures and revenues, and they've largely been successful. But Comscore says that growth in data-modem subscriptions in the US slowed significantly in the fourth quarter, and it puts the blame on cutbacks in discretionary spending. That's one likely explanation, but another is that the market for people who want to spend $60 per month on mobile broadband is pretty much tapped out. The Comscore report says that mobile data users didn't add to their overall internet usage, but rather just shifted some of their time from fixed to mobile connections, making the mobile service one of convenience. When that convenience costs more than most home broadband connections, and can generally deliver lower speeds, it doesn't seem particularly surprising that user growth doesn't continue to skyrocket.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
    identicon
    Jasmine, Apr 13th, 2009 @ 10:32pm

    Companies like Verizon are losing customers like me, after 15 years. Their data devices are locked into clunky pre-set browsers and icons, and modding is extremely difficult to nearly impossible.

    As soon as my last Verizon contract is up, I'm switching over to T-Mobile for my mobile phone service. I've been a happy data-only T-Mobile subscriber for many years. One reason is because T-Mobile's data devices/smart phones were always customizable blank slates that could be tweaked to perfection and individual tastes.

    I hate the G1 and have gone back to using my last T-Mobile data device. However, that's another plus for T-Mobile. They don't care if you stick the sim card up your butt looking for the ultimate wi-fi signal, so long as you pay your bill. I've been able to test-drive data devices that I've bought on Ebay just by dropping my SIM card into the devices. That was how I found out I wasn't a Blackberry person, before I plunked down serious money on a brand-new one. You can't do that with Verizon, Sprint, Nextel or AT*T.

    With companies like Verizon, there is no SIM card, and you are stuck with what is on the data plate they serve you. If you want a better phone or data device, you have to buy it directly from them. They're losing tech-savvy and younger customers who are accustomed to making things work the way they want, instead of being spoon-fed content by a data provider.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Griper, Apr 13th, 2009 @ 10:46pm

    Re:

    That is the same reason I left T-Mobile

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Jasmine, Apr 13th, 2009 @ 11:14pm

    Re: Re:

    Interesting. You don't have to answer this, but if you want, I'd be curious to find out what kind of a mobile device you were using.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 14th, 2009 @ 3:59am

    I live in area where there are 3 choices for broadband, Satellite (ok speed, but laggy), Cellular (ok speed, but laggy), and Extended DSL (sometimes ok speed, unreliable connection). I currently have both the Extended DSL and Cellular service from Alltel(Verizon). There are times that the cellular is considerably faster than the DSL, and it generally is more reliable of a connection. Personally, I think the whole Extended DSL is a game of smoke and mirrors so the phone company doesn't have to follow through with customer support, but that's just my opinion. My contract for the cellular broadband expires in a few months and won't be renewed, its just too expensive. At the time that I enrolled, the DSL "wasn't available" at my house, you know, the whole "too far from the central office " situation. Now that is available, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to spend an extra $60 a month for something only marginally better than a service that's less than 1/2 as much.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Me, Apr 14th, 2009 @ 10:30am

    Re: Jasime

    "You can't do that with Verizon, Sprint, Nextel or AT*T."

    Not true with AT&T, you can use whatever sim-driven device you want. I'm using an HTC Advantage which isn't sold or serviced by AT&T. Where I live cellular and sat are the only options and so I share my cell connection with my home computers via a beta 0.91 (free) version of wmwifirouter.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Easily Amused, Apr 14th, 2009 @ 11:17am

    Another good reason that people aren't paying out the nose for cellular broadband as much is the trend of all of these companies to get people hooked with 'unlimited' data plans and then hack out services that actually allow the users to make use of the bandwidth they have purchased.
    All the carriers are trying to block p2p, voip, tethering to laptops, streaming videos, etc. It's just a money grab that let's them collect high fees without expanding infrastructure to support the growth of the market.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Gatewood Green, Apr 14th, 2009 @ 2:50pm

    Why buy a data modem specifically?

    Data modem == most any data using cell phone? Why buy a different or separate device? I have enough crap in my pockets with a cell, keys, wallet and loose change.

    T-mo and my Blackberry get me by when I am on the road. I can tether via USB or bluetooth.

    That said, I find locating a (usually free) WiFi access point is not all that hard and I *rarely* ever tether.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    mobile broadband, Jun 18th, 2009 @ 4:47am

    Mobile broadband

    Mobile broadband is becoming ever more popular and this is certainly a good deal if you want to go down that path.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    mobile broadband, Jun 18th, 2009 @ 4:47am

    Mobile broadband

    Mobile broadband is becoming ever more popular and this is certainly a good deal if you want to go down that path.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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