Cellular Modem Industry to Exceed 200 Million Units by 2013

Boosted by 3G network deployments, cellular modems are providing wireless connectivity to laptops, UMPCs and even desktop computers. 2007 data contained in a new study from ABI Research reveals that cellular modem sales, including PC Cards, Express Cards, USB modems, embedded modems and 3G/Wi-Fi routers cumulatively, increased more than 300% compared to 2006. The firm forecasts that by 2013, shipments of cellular modems will exceed 200 million units.

According to principal analyst Dan Shey, “2007 saw cellular modems established as an important connectivity technology for operators as well as for the mobile customer.”

However the incredible growth of 2007 did not benefit just traditional market share leaders such as Option Wireless, Sierra Wireless and Novatel. Asia-Pacific vendors including Huawei, ZTE, and C-motech now control the majority of worldwide sales and they are bringing a completely new set of capabilities to the marketplace. Says Shey, “The leading Asia-Pacific cellular modem vendors have robust portfolios of other telecommunications products and services. This positions them to compete for operator sales at a very different level, and is forcing changes to incumbent modem supplier business models.”

The factors driving this market go beyond a very competitive modem supplier market and 3G networks. Enterprise customers have been the traditional buyers of these devices, but operators have expanded their portfolio of mobile broadband price plans, opening up the market to SMB and consumer demand. In addition, Qualcomm’s Gobi, the eventual consolidation to GSM 3G and 4G networks, and WiMAX will all have positive effects on the supply chain, creating cellular-enabled devices which will drive up sales of embedded modems.

ABI Research’s study, “Cellular Modems and Mobile Broadband Connectivity” provides a comprehensive overview of the market for cellular modems. The report analyzes the factors both driving and inhibiting growth and how changes in the market are creating both opportunity and complexity for the value chain participant. It provides comprehensive market share and forecast information for modem supplier, distribution channel and customer type. Forecasts are provided for each of five different form factors by worldwide region, technology standard and air interface, and average selling price.

The study forms part of two ABI Research Services, Business Mobility and Mobile Devices, which include Research Reports, Research Briefs, Market Data, an Online Database, ABI Insights, ABI Vendor Matrices, and analyst inquiry support.

ABI Research is a leading market research firm focused on the impact of emerging technologies on global consumer and business markets. Utilizing a unique blend of market intelligence, primary research, and expert assessment from its worldwide team of industry analysts, ABI Research assists hundreds of clients each year with their strategic growth initiatives. For information, call +1.516.624.2500.