The development and early rollouts of HSPA marked the first lights of recovery in the darkness that enveloped mobile broadband in the early 2000s. Just how bright that mobile broadband light was to become surprised many as subscribers embraced the technology, especially through the arrival of the smartphone era. Leading industry figures give us their views.

One of the problems in early 3G technology was that its overall capabilities fell short of end-user expectations. The roughly 400kbps download on offer, along with a lack of appealing and capable devices at the time, meant subscribers were not queuing up to embrace the technology.

But HSPA started to change perceptions and user experiences. As technology developed so too did devices. For example, the emergence of dongles helped laptop sales to outnumber desktop computer sales by the middle of the decade.

The emergence of the smartphone and applications advanced things even further – to the extent that one contributor describes this as an epochal event, dividing modern life into the periods "before" and "after" smartphones.

Mobile broadband had truly arrived and yet the nature of its success provided a challenge to operators globally – a problem that still exists for many. The carrot of flat-rate, all-you-can-eat data becomes problematic when the number of subscribers increases rapidly and they all have large data appetites.

Film contributors are: Sandra Gilligan, Marketing Director, GSMA; Alan Hadden, President, Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA); David Haight, VP Business Development, Emerging Devices, AT&T; Hamadoun Touré, Secretary General, International Telecommunication Union (ITU); Mike Wright, Executive Director, Networks and Access Technologies, Telstra; Ola Ahlvarsson, Chief Executive Officer, Keynote Media; Jan Uddenfeldt, Chief Technology Officer, Sony Ericsson; Håkan Eriksson, Chief Technology Officer, Ericsson; Håkan Djuphammar, Head of System Architecture, Ericsson; Richard Windsor, Global Technology Specialist, Nomura Bank and Bengt Nordström CEO, Northstream.