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UMTS/HSDPA most widely deployed 3G technology
Posted: 25-May-2007 [Source: 3G Americas]

[3G Americas reports 167 operators in 69 countreis offer UMTS services and 115 of them offer HSDPA.]

Bellevue, WA -- The GSM technology global coverage footprint has provided the foundation for UMTS/HSDPA to become the most widely deployed 3G technology and market leader, with 167 operators in 69 countries offering UMTS services, 115 of whom have enhanced service with HSDPA. 3G Americas reports today that according to Informa's World Cellular Information Service quarterly subscriber reports, UMTS/HSDPA, with 117 million subscribers, is commercially available through twice as many operators as other 3G technologies, 167 operators in 69 countries, compared to 71 operators in 44 countries with CDMA EV-DO. Of the 172 million true mobile broadband 3G subscribers worldwide as of 1Q 2007, 68% use UMTS/HSDPA.

The GSM family of technologies currently provides service to 2.4 billion users worldwide, and comprises 85% of the total global wireless mobile market. GSM is the most widely deployed technology in the Western Hemisphere and the only technology present in every country of the region, encompassing 58% of all mobile wireless customers in the Western Hemisphere. Worldwide, the greatest quarterly growth of UMTS/HSDPA took place in the US and Canada, where UMTS experienced an unprecedented 614% growth, rocketing from 350,000 subscribers to 2.5 million subscribers in three months ending March 2007.

Chris Pearson, President of 3G Americas stated, "UMTS/HSDPA technology in North America will continue its steady growth as subscribers become aware of the tremendous applications and devices that make full use of these high speed wireless data networks." Pearson continued. "The anticipated launch of T-Mobile's UMTS network in 2007 will continue the 3G momentum in the Americas."

In the twelve months from March 2006 to March 2007, there were 538 million new GSM/UMTS subscriptions worldwide, compared to 49 million total net additions for CDMA. For the same time period, GSM grew its subscriber base in Latin America and the Caribbean by 80 million new customers for a total of over 231 million GSM users in the region. GSM's regional share of the Latin America market has continued its steady momentum, increasing from 59% in March 2006 to almost 71% in March 2007. The Latin American and Caribbean subscriber base for CDMA concurrently declined by 826,000 customers during the first quarter of 2007.

"2006 was the year we saw HSDPA become widely available across North America, and 2007 will be the year it starts to make its way across Latin America," commented Erasmo Rojas, Director of Latin America and the Caribbean. "Operators in Brazil have announced plans to deploy HSDPA in 850 MHz; Telefonica recently launched HSDPA in Mexico, and the technology has already been launched commercially by AT&T Puerto Rico, Entel Chile and Telecom Personal in Argentina."

HSPA (HSDPA/HSUPA) is the set of technology enhancements for UMTS standardized by 3GPP that helps define the migration path for GSM operators worldwide to mobile broadband. There are more than 250 HSDPA devices in the market today including smartphones, PDA's, PC cards USB drives, embedded notebooks and even desktop modems. Announcements have already begun for commercial HSDPA/HSUPA devices that provide peak theoretical throughput rates up to 7.2 Mbps on the downlink. It is expected that virtually all UMTS operators will upgrade to HSDPA, followed by HSUPA, providing them with a significant increase in capacity and data throughput and a reduced network cost for data services.

Subscriber data is based upon information from Informa Telecoms & Media.

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