"In the short period of two years since HSDPA was first launched on a wide scale basis in the U.S., the number of commercial HSPA mobile broadband networks now stands at 300 in 128 countries worldwide," stated Chris Pearson, President of 3G Americas, a wireless industry trade association representing the GSM family of technologies including LTE that tracks 3G commercial networks of Universal Mobile Telecommunications Service (UMTS) and High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) worldwide.
According to forecasts by Informa Telecoms & Media, there will be 458 million UMTS-HSPA mobile broadband connections worldwide by the end of 2009. This number is expected to exceed 1 billion by 2013.
HSPA is one of the fastest mobile broadband technologies in the world today. An enhancement to UMTS, HSPA offers a successful combination of spectral efficiency and high-speed data throughput, thus, enabling true mass market mobile broadband. In current deployments, HSPA users regularly experience throughput rates well in excess of 1 Mbps, on both uplinks and downlinks, with up to 4 Mbps downlink speed commonly being measured in some networks around the world. HSPA provides operators with a rich evolution to meet the increasingly advanced wireless needs of customers. There is a tremendous ecosystem in place for the HSPA technology including more than 1,658 commercial devices launched from 156 manufacturers.
The Americas region plays a significant role in the growth of HSPA mobile broadband. As an early adopter of HSPA technology, AT&T had a 21 percent share of the global HSPA customer base with more than 28.6 million HSPA subscriptions, according to the GSMA, as of mid-year 2009. Rogers Wireless in Canada and T-Mobile USA were among the first 20 operators in the world to launch HSPA+ offering mobile broadband speeds up to peak theoretical downlink throughput rates of 21 Mbps. Today, there are 35 commercial HSPA+ networks worldwide and 3G Americas expects the majority of HSPA network operators to upgrade their networks to HSPA+.
"Latin America has been a key growth engine for mobile broadband since HSDPA was first launched at the end of 2006," stated Erasmo Rojas, Director of Latin America and the Caribbean for 3G Americas. "By the end of this year, HSPA is expected to reach 11.4 million subscribers, adding 4.5 million subscriptions between June and December 2009 alone to reach this forecasted number. Latin America is one of the fastest growing regions in the world in adopting mobile broadband technology."
There are 50 commercial HSPA networks in 23 countries within the Latin America and Caribbean region; it is expected that Long Term Evolution (LTE) mobile broadband trials in Argentina, Brazil and Chile will commence in 2010.
Throughout the Americas, wireless technology continues its rapid advancement toward enhanced mobile broadband networks such as HSPA+ and LTE. Currently, more than 100 operators worldwide have announced intentions and expectations to deploy LTE networks. LTE is the next evolution of mobile broadband technology that utilizes OFDM-based technology and a flat-IP core network allowing for an enhanced Internet experience on mobile devices.
Forecasts by Informa Telecoms & Media indicate that there will be 3.2 billion mobile broadband connections by year-end 2014. At that time, UMTS-HSPA and LTE combined will comprise 84 percent share of market with 2.8 billion subscriptions, compared to 528 million EV-DO connections and 89 million WiMAX connections. HSPA will total 1.76 billion of the 2.8 billion subscriptions.
Quick data facts as of November 2009:
-- 4 billion GSM-HSPA subscriptions
-- More than 700 GSM networks
-- UMTS-HSPA represents 84 percent of the global mobile broadband market
-- HSPA is available in 128 countries worldwide
-- More than 1,658 HSPA devices launched (GSMA)
-- 35 commercial HSPA+ networks in 23 countries worldwide offering 21 Mbps to 28 Mbps peak theoretical downlink speeds
-- By year-end 2014, the 3GPP mobile broadband technologies (UMTS-HSPA-LTE) are forecast to represent 2.8 billion subscriptions and 84 percent share of market
Additional information can be found on the statistics page of 3G Americas' website. Most data was provided by independent research company Informa Telecoms & Media.