Wednesday, March 4, 2009

More Than 100 Million New GSM Users in Western Hemisphere in 2008

In 2008, there were more than 100 million new GSM connections

in countries in the Western hemisphere, according to 3G Americas, a wireless industry trade association representing the GSM family of technologies. This marks the third consecutive year where new GSM activations topped 100 million in this hemisphere. e GSM family of technologies totaled 525 million subscriptions in North America, Latin America and the Caribbean at the end of December, having passed the milestone of half a billion subscriptions in October 2008. This brings the increasing market share in the region to 70% according to data from Informa Telecoms & Media.

At the end of 2008, UMTS-HSPA 3G wireless subscriptions numbered nearly 25 million in the Americas, which more than doubled the 9 million subscriptions at the end of 2007. Today there are 48 commercial UMTS-HSPA networks throughout the Western Hemisphere and networks are being expanded and upgraded to advanced HSPA versions providing peak theoretical HSPA mobile broadband downlink rates of 7.2 Mbps.

On a worldwide basis, GSM totals 3.5 billion of the nearly 4 billion mobile subscriptions or 89% share of market at the end of December 2008. With 278 UMTS-HSPA networks in service in 121 countries, there are 290 million UMTS-HSPA subscriptions as of the end of 2008 compared to 186 million a year earlier -- more than 100 million new 3G connections. UMTS-HSPA subscriptions are expected to more than double in 2009, according to Informa's forecasts, and reach 455 million connections by the end of this year.

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