Europe UK : Next generation mobile broadband technologies including 3G Long Term Evolution (LTE), xMax and Mobile WiMAX hold the promise of transforming the mobile broadband landscape. Carriers are increasingly investigating the potential of these emerging technologies as a means to sustain their profitability and boost average revenue per user (ARPU).

"European carriers' dependence on voice to increase ARPU can no longer be a driving factor, given the prevailing saturated market and various alternatives such as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and reduced local and roaming call charges due to regulatory policies," notes Frost & Sullivan Programme Manager Luke Thomas. "As a result, carriers are now keenly looking at various next generation mobile broadband technologies so as to increase their ARPU in data applications and remain profitable in the long term."

More than 62 per cent of the current world population of nearly 6.6 billion are not connected to a cellular network. This situation is paving the way for various emerging wireless technologies such as xMax by xG Technology and Mobile WiMAX to make major inroads into the market. Current Mobile WiMAX standards are not yet optimised for mobile VoIP at vehicular speeds. "Therefore, Mobile WiMAX will initially target the ultra mobile PC or PC tablet market rather than the mobile smartphone market," states Thomas. xMax technology will potentially enable service providers to promote unlimited local and long distant voice calls as well as unlimited text messages at very low monthly prices. xMax is a likely prospect to be the first 4G technology to be commercially available in 2008.

Once 3G LTE is a ratified standard, its performance characteristics will be superior to Mobile WiMAX. "A major portion of existing cellular networks would need a hardware upgrade to support 3G LTE," notes Thomas. "Service providers are still undecided if they need to completely shut down circuit switched networks with the deployment of 3G LTE networks." Mobile WiMAX, xMax and 3 G LTE — an Analysis of Potential Mobile Broadband Technologies is part of the Mobile and Wireless Growth Partnership Services. All research included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends that have been evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants. Interviews with the press are available.