Cellular and mobile broadband PC modem shipments grew more than 55 percent in 2009. In 2008, a total of 46.4 million such modems (including USB models, PC Card modems and wireless routers) shipped; in 2009, that figure grew to more than 72 million, according to the latest market data released by ABI Research.
"The USB modem continues to flourish," says Senior Analyst Jeff Orr. "They remain amazingly popular. 2009 was actually a good year considering we were in a recession; there was somewhat surprising year-over-year growth in both shipments and revenue. And at the end of 2009 there was a surge of consumer adoption. Business adoption was less robust." USB modems' popularity can be attributed to their low cost, flexibility and portability, as well as to subsidies frequently offered by network operators.