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China vendors lead broadband cell modem market in '09

Posted: 01 Jul 2010     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:cellular modem  broadband  mobile computing 

China vendors Huawei and ZTE dominated the global cellular modem market in 2009 displacing Sierra Wireless, Novatel and Option in key markets, including Western Europe. Huawei with 3.40 crore (34 million) and ZTE with 1.85 crore (18.5 million) units, respectively, According to a new Strategy Analytics Wireless Enterprise Strategies (WES) service report, "Mobile Broadband Devices OEM Competitive Market Analysis : USB Modems, PC Cards & Embedded Cellular Connectivity" Huawei sold 3.40 crore (34 million) and ZTE 1.85 crore (18.5 million) units

Sierra Wireless, Novatel and Option have seen market share fall away as the China cellular infrastructure giants have dominated carrier relationships and displaced them in key markets, including Western Europe. However, SimCom—and companies such as Mediatek and Via—will threaten the position of incumbents in the mobile computing space. SimCom has now been approved on AT&T's network. As M2M becomes more mainstream, it is clear that the delineation between mobile computing and M2M module makers will vanish.

The report found that the use of custom modules to fit the devices like the iPad, rather than an e-book reader (Nook, Kindle) presents new challenges to modem OEMs. New entrants have also transformed the market: Huawei and ZTE dominate volumes, but SimCom and other players could transform this market further.

"It is clear that the incumbent cellular broadband modem vendors that were so dominant a few years ago have seen their OEM business start to struggle in the face of major competition," commented Andrew Brown, director of WES and author of the report. "Sierra Wireless is in a stronger position than Novatel and Option, since they have a stronger M2M business to fall back on, especially in the fast growing automotive business."

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