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Blackberry Mobility Featured Article


July 01, 2010

USB Modems on the Wane, While Embedded Modems Gain: Report

By Mini Swamy, TMCnet Contributor


The popularity of USB modems seems to have gone up, while the market for other wireless modems does not appear to have been affected much. This is according to ABI Research (News - Alert), which predicts that shipments of USB modems is likely to touch nearly 81 million this year.


The PC Card slot vanished from the scene, once the USB was introduced in 2006. At present, wireless broadband subscribers enjoy portable connectivity because of USB ports. This versatile modem comes at an affordable price, which mainly accounts for its popularity, Jeff Orr, principal analyst, mobile devices at ABI Research, said.

According to ABI Research's Cellular Modem Product Tracking Database, the ubiquitous USB interface is used by more than 50 percent of the modem models.

Orr cited the advantages of the USB modem and said that it connected to specific networks rapidly, and didn't require the installation of drivers. With 3G and 4g protocols emerging, the USB modem is all geared up to update the installed base of portable and mobile computers.

However, with embedded modem modules emerging, and hotspot routers connecting multiple Wi-Fi devices to a single WAN connection, the popularity of the USB modems may be jeopardized.

'In the long run, more devices are looking for a network to connect to. The wireless modem market can solve this in many ways -- different form-factors, air interface protocols, and increased attention to style and cultural interests,'research associate Khin Sandi Lynn said.

The mobile broadband modems available in the market today support a variety of air interface technologies. According to ABI Research's database, approximately 50 percent of the wireless modems in the market support GSM, GPRS, EDGE or HSDPA.
 



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