Mobile Subscribers Forecast to Top 5 Billion-Mark by 2011

A few days ago, I pointed out that India was finally getting its 3G act together by coming up with a liberal licensing policy that will boost mobile broadband in that country. A similar scenario is playing out across China, Brazil and Russia, which together with India account for a major chunk of the global mobile footprint.

That is one of the main reasons why Infonetics Research is expecting that by year 2011 there will be one mobile broadband connection for every four wired broadband subscribers. The Campbell, Calif.-research firm made some other bold predictions, among them:

  • Worldwide mobile subscribers will hit 5.2 billion by 2011
  • Cellular mobile broadband subscribers will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 104 percent between 2007 and 2011.

The research firm claims that WiMAX is going to play a role in the spread of mobile broadband as well.I checked with the firm to get more clarifications on the cellular mobile growth.

They said that the number of worldwide cellular mobile broadband subscribers (not including WiMAX or SMS) will more than triple in 2008 from 2007 and to continue¬†ramping quickly through at least 2011. They went on to point out that “with an expected mobile subscriber base passing the 5 billion¬†bar in 2011, which will be migrated to both 3G and 4G networks, there is a lot of potential for mobile broadband subscribers to outnumber wireline broadband subscribers in the long term ( in the 2015-2020 timeframe).”

As high-speed wireless pipes become commonplace, we can expect this new platform to spur innovation just like wired broadband. The availability of high-speed access over DSL and cable resulted in the formation of Skype, YouTube and Facebook. Despite the carrier chokehold on the networks, innovation will soon start to thrive in the wireless broadband world as well.