OK, that is a bit over the top! Nielsen Mobile came out with a report that points out that there were 13 million mobile data cards in the U.S. at the end of June 2008. Not a big surprise, since wireless carriers in the U.S. are having a blockbuster year as far as mobile Internet revenues are concerned. The GigaOM Team has about seven of them and uses them for business and filing stuff when on the road. Apparently, so do a lot of people. However, Nielsen points out that there is a change in the making.
….Nielsen’s research reveals that the cards are beginning to play an important role in home and personal Internet access, as well. In fact, 43 percent of mobile data card users report they most often use their data card at home, while 15 percent say they typically use the card at work. Additionally, one in five (21 percent) data card subscribers take advantage of ubiquitous access by heading outdoors and 9 percent use their card while commuting.
An easy explanation would be better price packages and higher speed tiers, thanks to newer 3G technologies. Of the nearly 1,300 mobile data card users Nielsen surveyed, more than 99 percent still kept their wired broadband service: 40 percent of card users also have cable broadband and 34 percent also have DSL in their home. That number can jump to 59 percent, giving wired carriers something to think about.
Maybe the wireless guys need to rethink their wireless broadband plans and bring them forward. For phone companies the prospect of being cannibalized by wireless data connections must be scarier than losing them to voice connections. No wonder they started to limit bandwidth transfers on their connections. (Photo courtesy: Novatel Wireless.)