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New Research Forecasts 187 Million Mobile Broadband Devices to Be Sold on Shared Data Plans in 2015

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New Research Forecasts 187 Million Mobile Broadband Devices to Be Sold on Shared Data Plans in 2015

The proportion of mobile broadband devices sold on shared data plans is forecast to increase from just over two percent in 2011 to more than 15 percent in 2015. (Image: Infonetics Research)

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwire -10/24/11)- 4G World 2011 -- Tekelec (NASDAQ: TKLC - News), the mobile broadband solutions company, today released findings from Infonetics Research showing that the number of mobile broadband devices sold globally on shared data plans is forecast to grow an average of 89 percent a year from 2011 to 2015, reaching nearly 187 million units. Smartphones, USB cards and tablets will comprise 89 percent of these devices.

Infonetics estimates that 2.4 percent of mobile broadband devices sold globally in 2011 will be on shared data plans. By 2015, the figure jumps to 15.4 percent. These plans, according to Infonetics, will first gain traction in markets with advanced 3G competition, such as North America, Western Europe, Japan, South Korea and Australia.

"Smartphones and tablets are already highly desirable devices, and shared data plans will further accelerate demand and adoption as the costs of dual ownership decline," said Richard Webb, directing analyst, microwave and small cells. "We believe shared data plans will become an integral weapon in the operator arsenal of packages designed to attract new subscribers and reduce churn."

Supporting Shared Data Plans

Further, Infonetics Research stated that the growth of shared data plans requires a customer-centric approach, which adds network complexity and "entails a radical change from the way in which customers have been managed to this point." Shira Levine, directing analyst, next gen OSS and policy, and Webb cite network intelligence from policy management, subscriber data management and Diameter routing as key to managing and monetizing shared data plan growth.

"Shared data plans -- whether across multiple devices for an individual or across multiple subscribers -- demand that operators rethink their operational systems. Service providers cannot offer must-haves like parental controls, time-of-day management and application-based rules without advanced policies and subscriber intelligence," said Levine.

In addition, Infonetics believes that the increased behind-the-scenes traffic that shared data plans will generate will drive demand for Diameter routing equipment. Policy- and charging-related information traverses networks via the Diameter protocol, and Levine and Webb say "the strain will only get worse as the number of signaling transactions increases exponentially." They predict that operators will turn to Diameter routing agents (DRAs) "to better manage the onslaught of Diameter messages exchanged among network elements."

"Shared data plans are the logical progression from shared voice and text message plans, but are exponentially more difficult to administer," said Doug Suriano, chief technology officer and vice president of engineering at Tekelec. "The operator's goal to provide a seamless and high-quality experience across all subscribers and devices requires new levels of network scalability and flexibility across multiple types of equipment."

Supporting Resources
All in the Family: How Shared Data Plans are Driving New Requirements
Policy Server product brief
Subscriber Data Management (SDM) product brief
Diameter Signaling Router (DSR) product brief
An Intelligent Approach to Monetizing Mobile Broadband white paper

About Tekelec
Tekelec connects people and devices to the mobile Internet. Our portfolio's unique layer of network intelligence allows service providers to both manage and monetize the exponential growth in mobile web, video and applications traffic. Tekelec has more than 25 offices around the world serving customers in more than 100 countries. For more information visit www.tekelec.com.

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