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Research Brief

Mobile Broadband tariffs continue to vary significantly in WE

, published: July 2012
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Mobile broadband (MBB) adoption continues to grow and is approaching a mass-market service in Europe. Mobile data traffic more than doubled in 2011 and is expected to increase even further; Ericsson predicts a 15-fold rise worldwide by 2017. This is fuelled mainly by smartphones, notebooks/netbooks and more recently tablets, and in the future other connected devices are likely to emerge. However, this exponential rise in data traffic has not generated a proportional increase in revenue for mobile network operators. In the past affordable 'all you can eat' and unlimited packages (with no cap) were the norm in order to spur demand for mobile data. Now, the majority of operators are shifting to tiered or capped plans, or adding maximum usage or speed caps to so-called 'unlimited' plans. More than ever operators are in need of new mobile data pricing models, in order to fund the future development of their networks and sustain further growth.
This research brief analyses operators' MBB offerings for laptop/notebook/netbook devices across 16 Western European countries during the second quarter of 2012. A separate research brief is dedicated to special iPad/tablet-only packages.
The main conclusions are that average monthly MBB tariffs continue to vary significantly across the different countries of Western Europe. MBB prices in the Netherlands have come down from being the highest in Q1 2009 to the middle, while Switzerland and France now average the highest prices and Ireland and the UK the lowest. Dutch MBB penetration via notebook/netbook/tablet remains limited, but has doubled in the past year to around 6.4 percent of the population.

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€ 495

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