Mobile broadband modems and hotspot router shipments fell 17% year-over-year in 2013 to nearly 87 million units and Strategy Analytics (www.strategyanalytics.com) expects the modem market to decline yet further by another 24% by year-end 2014, while the market’s value has halved since 2010.
The research group says number of factors are impacting market growth, such as a declining PC market, carriers bundling tablets with smartphones and offering subsidies or service extras, providing lower cost SIM-only data plans, lengthening modem lifecycles, a healthy “second hand” modem market and shared data plan tariffs across multiple devices.
“t was no surprise that USB modem sticks and embedded PC modem modules continue to lead the two year decline, while the continued growth in Wi-Fi-enabled CE devices saw mobile hotspot routers continue to be the bright point in an otherwise gloomy market,” says Andrew Brown, executive director of Enterprise Research at Strategy Analytics and author of the report. “Revenues associated with mobile broadband modems fell in 2013 to just below US$7 billion, down 22% from just under US$9 billion in 2012. In 2014 the market will decrease to almost half the revenue the market had displayed in 2010.”
Huawei will continue to lead all modem vendors in 2014 with nearly 45% unit share. Combined with second place ZTE, the top Chinese vendors are still shipping over 80% of all mobile broadband modems. Other vendors such as Novatel Wireless, Qualcomm, Option Wireless, TCL Alcatel, Netgear and Franklin Wireless are also covered in the report.