Wireless PC data cards to grow 47.8% a year in Western Europe

According to IDC, the number of PC data combo cards in Europe is expected to grow from 1.2 mln in 2004 to more than 5.7 mln in 2008, with a CAGR of 47.8%. In Q1 2004, major mobile operators such as Vodafone and T-Mobile started with a business only UMTS/GPRS mobile data card service. Now, there are more than 10 mobile operators that offer mobile data services across Western Europe.

In 2003, most PC data card sales were GPRS/GSM combo and some UMTS/GPRS/GSM combo cards. As the market is still in the introductory phase, prices are expected to be adjusted as competition increases. However, the price model that operators are currently using is based largely on the mobile worker (mainly business users) paying per data byte used. Prices of operators in different countries range from $90 to $160 per month for unlimited use (mostly with a maximum of 1GB per month), with an additional charge for the PC data card of around $160?$220, excluding VAT. Most operators do offer cheaper package options depending on the number of bytes included in the package, and the price of card also varies, depending on the package. Data consumed above the package is priced per additional MB.