Friday, 9 October 2009

Carphone Warehouse CEO Charles Dunstone Says that 'Mobile Broadband has Peaked'

The CEO of The Carphone Warehouse (and Talk Talk) Charles Dunstone believes that Mobile Broadband 'has peaked' and is being deserted by consumers. Speaking to The Guardian he said that:

"We get a sense that the mobile broadband thing has peaked. We are seeing some of those people begin to realise that the bandwidth you get on mobile is so much less than you get on a fixed line. Mobile broadband is increasingly a supplementary rather than a substitutional thing, and an increasing proportion of Carphone sales are of pre-pay dongles."

I was amazed to read this particularly after a report released earlier in the week stated that mobile connections are set to overtake fixed line subscriptions by the end of the year. As I mentioned on Twitter Mobile Broadband take up has doubled in the past year alone which makes Dunstone's comments seem at best misinformed.

He makes a good point about a lot of mobile dongle sales being to fixed line customers but the suggestion that mobile broadband has peaked seems way off. Those of us who have grown up with mobile phones see little point in having a landline and if mobile broadband speeds increase it could do serious damage to sales of traditional broadband subscriptions.

Some of the networks are clearly struggling to cope with infrastructure not yet ready for so many connections and will be forced to improve. The pay as you go mobile broadband market is very competitive so whom ever can offer their customers the best speeds and most reliable connection is set to do well.

I would be very interested to see any statistics Mr Dunstone can provide to back up his argument. As ISP Review says "every other piece of research we've seen has appeared to communicate the opposite conclusion."

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