According to comScore, access to the Internet through mobile broadband connections grew by 157% in 2007. Mobile broadband technology includes EV-DO Rev. A which is offered by both Verizon and Sprint. Mobile broadband connections are achieved through PC/laptop cards, built-in adapters, or by tethered smartphones. comScore pegs the number of unique mobile broadband users at 2.1 million. “Though mobile broadband access is currently used by about 1 percent of the total U.S. Internet population, it is poised for significant growth over the next few years,” said Serge Matta, senior vice president of comScore.
Mobile broadband will certainly increase dramatically, especially if Sprint’s Xohm gets off the ground soon. In fact, mobile broadband will increasingly impact the competitive landscape as more and more users find its convenience appealing. Mobile broadband has the potential to have a similar impact on landline broadband that cellular has had on landline voice. Additionally, telecom carriers will increasingly add mobile broadband to quad play bundles to create differentiation and competitive advantage. The numbers are low today because we are just leaving mobile broadband’s “embryotic” stage. But we will soon see “hockey stick” type growth and its competitive impact will be undeniable.