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Huawei Continues Mobile Broadband Modem Dominance as Market Shrinks

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Mobile broadband modems and hotspot router shipments fell 21% year over year to nearly 73 million units, as the impact of the declining PC market finally began to bite.

USB modem sticks and embedded modem modules led the two-year slide while mobile hotspot routers increased 32%, according to new analysis from market intelligence firm ABI Research.

As the computing marketing continues to evolve with more performance and choices than ever before, mobile broadband modems were not impervious to the transition. "It was another distressing year for mobile broadband modems, though the worst appears to be in the past," says senior practice director Jeff Orr, ABI Research. "USB modems will remain an important connectivity component going forward; however future volumes will increasingly be driven by embedded modem modules and mobile hotspot routers."

Revenues associated with mobile broadband modems also fell in 2013 to US$6.2 billion, down 23% from just over USD8.1 billion in 2012. Other key findings include:

  • 68% of shipments were USB modem sticks
  • 40% of all modems shipped to the Asia-Pacific region
  • The average end-user selling price of all form-factors was US$84.49, a 3.1% decline year-over-year
  • 75% of modems offered exclusively GSM/UMTS air interface protocols despite marketing of high-speed LTE networks

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