There are four major ways of accessing the web within the constructs of mobile broadband segment. They are USB dongles, mobile hotspots, embedded modules and embedded chipsets. The pros and cons for each tool are discussed below:
USB dongles typically were used in conjunction with notebooks and netbooks, providing flexibility for use on multiple devices. However, the arrival of media tablets and other consumer electronics with embedded Wi-Fi capability saw the emergence of the mobile hotspot, a battery-operated device using a 3G or 4G network as backhaul for data traffic.
In comparison, an embedded module or chipset solution incorporates mobile broadband functionality at the board level, providing the convenience of a solution that does not break, become lost or get stolen—while allowing for optimal performance of the mobile device in which the embedded solution is used.
Of the various ways to enable broadband access for consumer electronics devices, mobile hotspots and embedded chipsets are the fastest-growing methods, growing 25 to 50 percent faster than the overall market. Key to their growth is the capability of mobile hotspots to combine data access for multiple devices while staying at the forefront of technology, as well as the flexibility of design enabled by chipset solutions in devices.
By 2015, the majority of mobile broadband devices will utilize the 4G wireless standard known as long term evolution (LTE), in line with consumer demand for faster speeds and, perhaps more important, lower latencies or delays from their mobile broadband networks.
Growth in mobile broadband devices will drive an explosive increase in mobile data traffic, causing carriers to rapidly rethink their strategies for network and service deployments as well as data monetization. And as new players target the mobile device market, existing players at every node of the communication value chain will need to continually evolve their business strategies. Failure to do so in this dynamic market, with continually changing paradigms, will cause even well-established players to be relegated quickly to marginal roles.