GSM has become the fastest growing wireless technology in the Americas, registering a 37% year-over-year growth through September 2002 according to the EMC World Cellular Database. GSM subscribers globally totaled more than 745 million subscribers representing growth of 28% during the same twelve months.
Chris Pearson, Executive Vice President of 3G Americas predicted, "We are seeing the beginning of explosive growth of GSM in the Americas. TDMA operators in North America are delivering on schedule their GSM/GPRS deployments, creating a national footprint of wireless data services for their customers. This is the food to fuel the uptake of customer services such as photo-messaging, entertainment, always-on anywhere anytime Internet connectivity, and corporate enterprise email."
EMC figures also revealed that GSM subscribers in Latin America grew by 53% from 3.8 to 5.8 million during this period. Dr. Richard Downes, Director of Latin America and the Caribbean of 3G Americas, attributed the growth to the launch of new GSM operators and the gradual displacement of TDMA through operator migrations to GSM. "GSM is experiencing phenomenal growth, especially in Brazil, where recent figures indicate that 59 percent of all new subscribers have selected GSM technology," he noted.
GSM is the world's leading wireless technology, and as of today there are more than 785 million subscribers worldwide, representing nearly 72% of all digital cellular subscribers today. Another 13% of the world's digital subscribers are CDMA and 10% are TDMA. GSM provides an unmatched roaming footprint spanning more than 550 networks in over 184 countries.
According to Vicki Livingston, Director of Marketing of 3G Americas, "Operators and their customers in the Americas are beginning to understand the many advantages of GSM technology, especially international roaming - not available through other technologies due to their lack of a global footprint. GSM's economies of scale also offer attractive economic incentives, obvious when you compare over 785 million GSM customers today to over 100 million-plus TDMA or CDMA customers. GSM's growth in the Americas will continue to surge with EDGE - as it becomes the first true 3G commercial service deployment by a national operator in mid 2003, enabling high-speed wireless data services."
According to EMC, as of September 2002, there were 100.7 million TDMA subscribers in the Americas, 83.7 million CDMA subscribers, and 21 million GSM subscribers. Another 27.8 million analog subscribers are represented, although this number declined by over 30% in the last twelve months.
Technology statistical charts are provided on the 3G Americas website at: www.3gamericas.org/English/Statistics/.