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Mobile Operator Shared Data Plan Trend Accelerating
Posted: 18-Aug-2011 [Source: Strategy Analytics]

[Strategy Analytics finds consumers with multiple devices want a single shared data plan to connect multiple devices on 3G and 4G.]

Boston -- While the Apple iPad and other tablets are hot products, the expense of requiring separate mobile broadband plans for each device to connect to 3G or 4G services has been prohibitive. Strategy Analytics examines the emerging trend to offer multi-device data plans to drive adoption of additional 3G and 4G connected devices in its new Mobile Broadband Opportunities (MBO) service report, “Multi-Device Mobile Data Plans: Connecting the Consumer with Smartphone, Tablet , Laptop and (or) other Devices.”

Recently, leading mobile operators such as Rogers Wireless and Bell Mobility in Canada, Telefonica Movistar in Spain, Orange Mobistar and Proximus in Belgium have launched multi-device plans. SFR France will launch an extra SIM option on one of its mobile data plans by end of summer. In the US, market leaders Verizon Wireless and AT&T have both said that they envision family data plans at some point in the near future.

“Our Strategy Analytics survey research shows that consumers with multiple devices are hungry for a single data plan to connect all of their devices on 3G and 4G. We have been suggesting the concept of family data plans/ pooled data plans for some time, so we are pleased to see more operator offerings of multi-device plans,” noted Susan Welsh de Grimaldo, Director, Mobile Broadband Opportunities at Strategy Analytics.

“Operators looking to drive device uptake and minimize churn in today’s competitive mobile broadband market should consider multi-SIM or other multi-device plans,” added Sue Rudd, Director, Wireless Operator Strategies at Strategy Analytics.

More findings from this report include:

* 60 percent of smartphone owners want a single, shared data plan to connect multiple devices like tablets, smartphones and laptops;

* 50 percent of smartphone owners are interested in connecting multiple devices through tethering to their smartphone; and

* 40 percent have an interest in a standalone 3G portable WiFi router (like the MiFi from Novatel Wireless) to connect all their devices.

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