European mobile broadband subscribers on the grow

Mobile broadband

Mobile broadband subscriptions are on the rise and expected to hit 600 million worldwide by the end of this year.

A report from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) showed mobile broadband subscribers had overtaken fixed line subscribers in 2008, with Europe along with the Asia and Pacific market having the largest number.

The report has come out in the same week that Charles Dunstone, chief executive of the Carphone Warehouse, made a statement saying sales of mobile broadband in the UK had reached its peak and people were turning back to the fixed line solution.

In an interview with The Guardian, Dunstone said: "We get a sense that the mobile broadband thing has peaked. We are seeing some of those people begin to realise that the bandwidth you get on mobile is so much less than you get on a fixed line."

"Mobile broadband is increasingly a supplementary rather than a substitutional thing, and an increasing proportion of Carphone sales are of pre-pay dongles."

The report from ITU did acknowledge the continued growth of fixed broadband showing that in Europe there are 200 subscribers for every 1,000 people, compared to Africa where there is only one subscriber every 1,000, but the graphing of the two types of broadband show fixed moving at a slower, steadier rate that the sharp upturn in mobile broadband subscriptions.

Customers must be careful that they get the speeds they sign up for however as last month a Broadband Expert survey showed ISPs were delivering less than a quarter of the speeds they advertised.

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.