James Middleton

November 13, 2007

2 Min Read
Untapped mobile broadband device market discovered

Mobile trade body the GSM Association (GSMA) and Microsoft believe that the addressable market for laptops with built in mobile broadband is in the region of 70 million units worldwide, amounting to some $50bn in potential revenues.

The research released Tuesday claims to have discovered a ‘gap’ of potentially 46.5 million units between existing industry analyst forecasts and the GSMA’s analysis, carried out by Pyramid Research.

The study suggests that PC manufacturers have yet to deliver the right mobile broadband notebook package, which would feature preconfigured mobile connectivity and mass market appeal with a $500 – $1000 price tag.

“With the right form factor, price and ‘out-of-the-box’ connectivity, the research has unearthed substantial demand for mobile broadband embedded notebooks that is not yet being met,” said Rob Conway, CEO of the GSMA.

Will Poole, corporate vice president of the Unlimited Potential Group at Microsoft, said he believes, “that people everywhere, in both developed and emerging segments, could benefit from access to the internet through mobile broadband on a wider range of notebook PCs.”

A handful of big brand PC manufacturers including Asus, Dell, Fujitsu Siemens, Lenovo, Twinhead and Vestel are on board with the report and are interested in working with the 12 mobile operators backing on the initiative – DTAC, Maxis, MTN, Orange, Smart Communications, Telecom Italia, Telefonica O2, TeliaSonera, Turkcell, Vimplecom, Vodafone and Wind.

As it did with its Emerging Markets Handset Initiative, the GSMA is also seeking a winning design for a mass market mobile broadband notebook, to be the focus of the Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona next year.

But the initiative already has competition in the form of projects such as Nicholas Negroponte’s One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) programme, which is seeking to put wifi-enabled, low cost laptops in the hands of some of the world’s most impoverished children, as well as Intel’s ultra mobile PC initiative, which focuses on embedding WiMAX in devices.

About the Author(s)

James Middleton

James Middleton is managing editor of telecoms.com | Follow him @telecomsjames

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