Microwave Journal

3G and 4G Product Expansion

July 1, 2009

Mobile phone operators are now looking beyond the handset to fuel further growth. They foresee a broad range of consumer electronics devices as vehicles for 3G and 4G wireless service access. The new Strategy Analytics Connected Home Device Strategies report, “Beyond the Handset—Wireless Consumer Electronics: US Market Forecast,” identifies up to 20 new device segments in which 3G and 4G wireless technologies will be embedded, and which operators could support with data and media services. The new range of embedded CE devices will create a market of 100 million installed devices for wireless operators in the US by 2014.By the end of 2009, more than half of the 8.4 million consumer electronics devices installed and enabled for 3G and 4G will be consumer notebook PCs. This entire device population of 3G and 4G enabled products will nearly double to 16.6 million in 2010, and continue to expand toward 101 million by 2014.

According to Peter King, Director, Consumer Home Device Strategies at Strategy Analytics, “Beyond notebooks, Strategy Analytics expects other portable devices, such as Mobile Internet Devices and game consoles to add 3G and 4G wireless network capabilities.”

“Wireless operators stand to benefit from future expansion in portable digital media device markets,” notes David Mercer, Vice President, Digital Consumer Practice. “They must now pay closer attention to developing innovative multi-device business models. The majority of today’s wireless service plans are poorly adapted to the need for unlimited data access across multiple consumer devices.” This Strategy Analytics report also concludes that today’s 3G technologies will dominate the consumer electronics device market in the near term. LTE and WiMAX will begin to have an impact in 2013 and beyond, as service availability expands and key price points are reached.