Mobile hotspot devices set for massive increase -

The number of mobile hotspot devices is set to continue to increase with revenue forecast to reach $500 million by the end of 2010.

The number and type of mobile hotspot device is said to be growing daily and, despite the technology being relatively new, it is predicted by an In-Stat forecast that mobile hotspot revenue will eventually reach tens of billions of dollars annually.

Allen Nogee, Principal Analyst at In-Stat, has predicted that the market for mobile hotspot devices, which connect to a mobile broadband connection and provide a bridge to Wi-Fi LAN.devices, will see tough competition in the coming years.  He has also predcted that devices will increasingly be found within a handset rather as opposed to the current crop of external battery powered devices.

"Mobile hotspot device shipments are expected to grow for several years, but we expect some jockeying for the top position occurring between device categories. Smartphones with embedded mobile hotspots have already cut into shipments for battery-powered mobile hotspot devices. Automotive hotspot devices might do the same. Standalone mobile hotspots will take on a new life again as they are positioned as home gateway devices for mobile operators selling broadband services to the home."

Research by In-Stat revealed that smartphone hotspot functionality would allow a mobile operator to charge an additional $20 per month on a contract.

It is also noted that a large market opportunity exists for mobile operators to provide WiMAX or LTE broadband services to home users and compete with DSL and cable providers.