New research by GSA - the Global mobile Suppliers Association, underlines the importance to mobile network operators of HSPA - High Speed Packet Access, for delivering advanced mobile broadband services to the global market. HSDPA is the first evolution of WCDMA, delivering advanced mobile multimedia services and typical user throughputs of 800 kbps to 3.0 Mbps, depending on individual networks and device capabilities.
Research by GSA confirms that 3G/WCDMA is now commercially launched by 174 network operators in 78 countries. GSA's latest "HSDPA Operator Commitments" survey confirms that 128 HSDPA networks have commercially launched service in 63 countries, i.e. HSDPA is enabled on almost three quarters of 3G/WCDMA networks. A further 50 HSDPA networks are currently in deployment making a total of 178 HSDPA operator commitments in 80 countries, an increase of 71% compared with 104 commitments in July 2006. And the number of commercial HSDPA networks has more than tripled in 12 months, from 42 to 128 today.
Most HSDPA networks support 1.8 Mbps data (peak) for a typical user experience of 0.8 - 1.5 Mbps. The GSA survey confirms the continuing trend of increasing network data speed, identifying 66 operators who have commercially launched or are deploying 3.6 Mbps (peak) data capability in their networks, as the first phase of a planned evolution to 14.4 Mbps (peak) for many operators by end 2007. Some networks already offer 7.2 Mbps (peak) commercial service, leveraging new higher-speed devices coming into the market.
In the uplink direction, High Speed Uplink Packet Access (HSUPA) services have been launched by operators in Europe and Asia. HSUPA increases uplink data throughput up to 1.45 Mbps (peak) initially, later evolving to 5.8 Mbps (peak). The survey indicates at least 27 networks have currently launched, are rolling out, or are testing HSUPA.
The majority of HSPA network operators also deploy GSM/EDGE for service continuity and the best user experience of mobile broadband services. 71 of 128 commercially launched HSDPA operators (i.e. 55.5%) have also commercially launched GSM/EDGE in their networks.
WCDMA leads the way in 3G markets worldwide with over 69% market share of 251 commercially launched 3G networks: 174 WCDMA (including 128 HSDPA), and 77 CDMA 1x EV-DO.
There are over 800 million GSM, WCDMA and HSDPA subscribers in HSDPA-enabled networks, according to latest GSA estimates. The number of WCDMA subscriptions exceeds 136.5 million (June 30, 2007 - Informa Telecoms & Media estimate), with HSDPA the major driver of growth.
3G/WCDMA-HSPA Fact Sheet (July 26, 2007) is available at www.gsacom.com