Mobile Broadband Gadgets Galore

The rapidly expanding set of 3.5G products, including phones, data cards, and USB modems, is outstripping that of other cellular technologies

The number of 3.5G devices on the market is mushrooming with 150 per cent annual growth in HSDPA gizmos, according to stats from GSM/3G supplier association the Global Mobile Suppliers Association (GSA).

There are now 637 high speed downlink packet access products on the market, with almost half (303) of them being mobile phones.

Laptops and PC datacards are the next largest product segment (103 apiece), followed by wireless routers and USB modems (60 apiece), the GSA survey found. In addition, there are seven personal media players with HSDPA-connectivity and even one 3.5G-enabled camera.

The number of HSDPA product suppliers has also increased from 62 to 110 over the past year.

Alan Hadden, president of the GSA, said 3.5G is achieving better growth rates than other cellular technologies.

He said in a statement: "Our latest survey confirms the rapidly expanding eco-system for HSPA and underlines how the HSPA market has developed much faster than other technologies. HSDPA networks entered commercial service 30 months ago; the number of HSDPA devices launched worldwide is over twice the number of GSM/Edge devices and over six times the number of 3G/WCDMA devices had at the same point in their service development."

The number of HSUPA (high speed uplink packet access) devices has doubled in six months. The GSA said there are now 66 HSUPA devices, with the majority delivering up to 2.1Mbps on the uplink.

The GSA survey highlights another growing mobile trend: GPS. Seventy HSPA devices now incorporate GPS/positioning functionality, compared to 20 just six months ago.

The survey also notes a significant increase in the number of tri-band HSDPA devices in the past six months—from 75 to 145—which enable global roaming.

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