If you are still one of those people who never step a foot outside your house and are always glued to a desktop machine, this article will, unfortunately, make no sense to you. However, if you are one of the millions of Americans who do manage to see the sun, then you'll be happy to note that there are more just like you connecting to mobile high-speed Internet.
Put simply, we've come a long, long way.
By the end of 2009, there were approximately 181 million HSxPA subscribers. Overall connections had increased to 271 million. That resulted in a 43-percent growth rate year-over-year.
Mobile subscriptions, however, surpassed 4.35 billion at 2009's end, with a 10.4-percent growth rate year-over-year. That puts global cellular penetration around 66 percent.
ABI Research predicts that 80 percent of the world's population will have access to cellular technology by 2014, which is pretty impressive when considering we are likely in the high 60s still.
On a global scale, the Asia-Pacific region is dominating in cellular penetration (45 percent) while Western Europe (13 percent) and North America (7.2 percent) lag behind.
However, when not considering global position, the Asia-Pacific region has only reached 52.5-percent penetration while Western Europe and North America have 140-percent and 93-percent penetration rates respectively.
Those numbers don't appear to be far-fetched either, and, if accurate, they will help drive many countries to faster and more reliable broadband on the go while providing access to people who have never had it.
Unfortunately — particularly for the U.S. — this data (still) isn't cheap for consumers, and competition is lacking.
In order to have further progression in mobile broadband, an understanding by the government and FCC that only competition can help resolve this issue is necessary; furthermore, definitive action from the government to promote competition is crucial. Rural market competition, in particular, could help plant seeds for future growth of smaller competitors.
That said, the future is looking bright for mobile broadband — consumers continue to be on the move while the demand for broadband in as many locations as possible grows. With 3G coverage constantly expanding and 4G coverage rolling out in many cities around the U.S., it is sure to be interesting to watch how companies cope with these various challenges in the future.