Analyst: Mobile broadband booming in Europe

More than one in 10 broadband connections in Europe are carried out over HSPA mobile networks, according to a Swedish analyst firm

Almost 12 percent of all broadband connections in Europe are carried over HSPA mobile networks, according to the analyst firm Berg Insight.

In a report issued on Thursday, the Swedish analysts said the number of subscribers using high-speed packet access (HSPA) — the higher-speed version of 3G — for their broadband connectivity increased by 74 percent between the end of 2007 and the end of 2008.

At the end of 2008, Berg Insight said there were 14.6 million HSPA subscriptions in Europe, representing 11.6 percent of all broadband connections. The analysts' figures are based entirely on active, data-only subscriptions involving USB dongles and embedded broadband and do not take into account people surfing the web on their mobile phones.

Berg Insight noted that, in North America, just 4.5 percent of all broadband connections are based on mobile broadband.

"Generally, the price level is much, much higher in the US than in Europe," Berg telecoms analyst Marcus Persson told ZDNet UK on Thursday. "In 2007, the price level was pretty high in Europe as well, but the operators slashed the prices, [which led to] mass market adoption".

Persson also noted that mobile broadband coverage was better in Europe than in the US, and networks here had greater capacity.

Berg Insight based its research on figures from telecoms authorities, operators and "other sources", Persson said.

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