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European mobile broadband penetration to hit 50% by 2012

28 марта 2008

Consultancy predicts mobile operators will make use of fixed infrastructure and femtocells to cope with demand.

Mobile broadband penetration in Europe is forecast to reach 50% by 2012, according to a new report published by Arthur D. Little (ADL) and Exane.

European mobile broadband penetration to hit 50% by 2012"Lower [data] prices, the rollout of HSDPA networks, and also the uptake of HSDPA devices means that mobile broadband traffic growth is set to explode," said Antoine Pradayrol, head of telecom at Exane BNP Paribas and author of the report, on Thursday.

However, the greater the demand for mobile broadband, the more operators will need to use existing fixed-line connections, said Pradayrol, speaking at a presentation in

"The more positive the outlook for mobile broadband is, the less likely it is that wireless infrastructure will be enough to cope with traffic," he said.

He commented that in order for mobile operators to handle the coming surge in traffic it will be necessary to use devices such as femtocells, which utilise fixed broadband connections, to take the strain off the macro cellular network.

"30% to 40% of mobile traffic comes from indoors," said Pradayrol.

However, despite a number of operators, including Vodafone, Telefonica O2 and
Orange, carrying out trials of femtocell technology, ADL warns there are still a lot of issues to be resolved before they become a viable solution.

"The first issue is a technical one – there is still not one commercially launched working femtocell out on the market that is being used by consumers," said Jean-Luc Cyrot, co-author of the report and a director at ADL's TIME practice.

He suggested that the best way for operators to make use of femtocell technology is to provide it to customers who need it, judged on a case by case basis.

"It doesn't make sense for them to give femtocells to all of their customers," said Cyrot.

"If they are launched at a decent price and they can guarantee a good quality of service, then they will find a business model," he added.

Источник: Total Telecom

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