HSPA takes tenth of European broadband market

High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) accounted for 11.6 per cent of the total number of broadband connections in Europe at the end of 2008, according to figures released this week.

Industry researcher Berg Insight said Thursday that the number of HSPA subscribers in Europe grew by 74 per cent year on year in 2008 to reach 14.6 million.

This number is forecast to continue to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 30 per cent to 70 million in 2014, according to Berg.

In contrast, the North American market has evolved at a slower pace, with mobile broadband accounting for just 4.5 per cent of the total number of connections at the end of 2008. Between 2008 and 2014, the North American market is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 43 per cent to reach 35 million subscribers by 2014.

The researcher predicts that mobile broadband will become a standard feature in portable PCs, laptops and netbooks. “Tomorrow’s broadband service providers will have to offer their subscribers multiple access methods,” said Marcus Persson, analyst at Berg Insight. Persson predicts that LTE will become the technology of choice outside of the home, while bandwidth hungry applications such as IPTV still require fixed broadband due to the restricted capacity in mobile networks caused by limited availability of frequencies.

“We believe that LTE will prevail as the main wireless technology also in North America. The idea to construct another nationwide network in the US based on any alternative technology does not seem credible in the current financial climate,” the analyst said.

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