GSMA & industry leaders collaborate to show mass market potential for mobile broadband in notebook PCs

Global study & field trials with Microsoft and 13 mobile operators to quantify market opportunity for mobile broadband enabled mid-range notebooks

The GSMA – the global trade association for mobile operators – is to collaborate with Microsoft Corporation on a global research programme to determine consumer user trends and the mass market potential of notebook PCs with embedded mobile broadband* – enabling access to the Internet anywhere with mobile coverage.

Today the market for mobile broadband is rapidly growing among notebook buyers who need mobile high speed data connectivity. International business travellers, road warriors, field information workers and other high end PC buyers find it essential. The GSMA, in collaboration with Microsoft, aims to assess the opportunities to drive growth beyond business users to the majority consumer and small business notebook users who want to enjoy connected experiences and multimedia on the move.

The GSMA also points toward the tremendous potential to stimulate further connectivity for people in emerging markets, where many areas lack fixed-line access and mobile networks upgraded with 3G and HSPA provide the most cost-efficient way to provide broadband Internet access.

Through the GSMA, 13 mobile operators are participating in the research, whose sponsor Telefonica/O2 believes a better understanding of what customers want from this study and trial work should help to grow the Mobile Internet. Other networks participating in the programme include: AT&T Mobility (formerly Cingular Wireless); China Mobile; DTAC; Maxis; MTN; Orange; SingTel; Smart Communications; TeliaSonera; Turkcell; Vodafone and Wind.

“Following the success of our initial program to infuse the notebook market with mobile connectivity, we are delighted to be working with Microsoft to initially understand the scale of the opportunity for mobile broadband enabled PCs in the mass market,” said Rob Conway, CEO of the GSMA. “Understanding the market size and customers’ requirements is the first step towards developing devices to meet those requirements.”

Mobile broadband is rolling out around the world today, already 155 networks are offering 3G/ W-CDMA services in 68 countries, of which 110 have already launched commercial HSPA (High Speed Packet Access) services across 57 countries, and a further 52 operators are currently deploying the technology**

“Microsoft’s customers are increasingly looking for the mobility and ubiquitous connectivity that mobile broadband-HSPA networks can provide worldwide today,” said Will Poole, corporate vice president of the Market Expansion Group at Microsoft. “We are excited to be working with the GSMA’s mobile operator community to find ways to enable every Windows Vista customer to enjoy mobile broadband, whether they own the most economical entry level notebook or the highest-end model.”

The collaboration will begin with a global market research study including field trials, conducted by Pyramid Research, that aims to quantify mass market PC buyer interest in mobile broadband and to identify the key drivers of broader adoption as well as the customer value proposition, thereby crystallizing the scale of opportunities ahead for all players in the industry value chain.

Affordable notebook PCs with embedded mobile broadband that work right “out of the box” as easily as connecting a desktop PC to a DSL, cable or dial-up are on the horizon. Such turnkey offers promise to be relevant to millions of PC buyers in developed and emerging markets as HSPA mobile broadband coverage quickly expands to markets worldwide.

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Notes to Editors:

Supporting Quotes:

Dave Williams CTO of Telefonica/O2 Europe:
“From some of the initial success that we as an industry are seeing using HSPA technology it is vital that we now start to understand what customers of Mobile Broadband and the Mobile Internet are looking for, from both a device and service offering perspective. This study will enable us to better understand and ultimately assist in building great service packages that will start to build the Mobile Internet.”

Bill Hague, Executive Vice President of AT&T Mobility (formerly Cingular Wireless): “Mobile broadband access using embedded HSPA technology, has the potential to change user behaviors and create new business models for the mobile and computing industries. The rapid spread of this technology into the consumer notebook market is a very exciting development and AT&T is pleased to be spearheading this effort in the US in partnership with the GSMA.”

Andrew McBean, Senior Vice President, Business Division, Total Access Communication (DTAC):
“DTAC is pleased to be part of this critical market analysis by the GSMA. We support industry efforts to define better bundles of PC hardware, software, and services features that will help more Thailand PC buyers enjoy the benefits of connected PC mobility on the DTAC mobile broadband network.”

Ashraff Paruk, Head of Strategy and Product Innovation, MTN South Africa:
”MTN South Africa is delighted to partner with the GSMA to enable many more South Africans to access the Internet and join the information highway. A little over a year ago, MTN started rolling out HSDPA or 3G Evolved services across South Africa. Usage patterns and demand to date indicates that our customers are enjoying mobile broadband enabled services. Based on current trends, we are happy to provide resources and invest in collaborative projects to enhance mobile data connectivity, and help define the scale of opportunities ahead.”

Philippe Bernard, Executive Vice President, Orange Business Solutions:
”We’ve seen a strong demand for ubiquitous mobile broadband connectivity from customers across all segments. This study will give us greater understanding of customer needs and requirements, helping us to accelerate the adoption of mobile-enabled laptops in both developed and developing markets.”

Claes Bidemar, VP Terminals and SIM TeliaSonera:
“These trials will help us better understand the key triggers and design of laptops that connect the mass-market to mobile broadband – making it yet another terminal.”

Oliver Mauss, Director of Business Marketing at Vodafone Group:
“Vodafone is keen to support the GSMA initiative. We are committed to making built-in 3G notebooks a mass market reality having taken the lead in providing customers with built-in 3G communications in Europe in partnership with the top Global PC OEM companies.”

About the GSM Association:

The GSM Association (GSMA) is the global trade association representing 700 GSM mobile phone operators across 218 countries of the world. In addition, more than 200 manufacturers and suppliers support the Association’s initiatives as key partners.

The primary goals of the GSMA are to ensure mobile phones and wireless services work globally and are easily accessible, enhancing their value to individual customers and national economies, while creating new business opportunities for operators and their suppliers. The Association’s members serve more than two billion customers – 82% of the world’s mobile phone users. See: &

For more information please contact:

For the GSM Association:
Mark Smith or David Pringle
Email: [email protected]