January 4th, 2007
The mobile industry is on the brink of signing up its 100 millionth 3G subscriber, says the UMTS Forum. According to data supplied by market watcher Wireless Intelligence, the milestone is due to be passed at the start of 2007. Moreover, once the ‘alternative’ 3G techologies, CDMA 2000 and 1xEV-DO, are factored in the total rises to more than 150 million. This leads the reseach to conclude that the total will reach 275 million by the end of 2007.
“It’s been another incredible year for 3G and in particular for WCDMA,” said the UMTS Forum chairman Jean-Pierre Bienaimé. “On the basis of current growth rates we now estimate that…by the end of this decade we expect WCDMA to account for around three quarters of a global 3G subscriber total approaching 800 million.”
Bienaimé added that by 2010 the UMTS Forum expects worldwide cellular subscriptions (2G and 2G) to exceed 4 billion, almost doubling today’s global penetration levels. By the end of the decade UMTS/WCDMA will approach 600 million connections - more than a seventh of all mobile subscriptions worldwide.
“We expect much of this spectacular growth over the next few years to come from markets like India, China, Eastern Europe and Latin America”, said Bienaimé. “Here there is enormous potential for 3G/UMTS - and its high-speed enhancements with HSDPA and HSUPA - to provide cost-effective voice and data services, notably in geographically scattered areas of low population density where fixed line connectivity and PC penetration remains poor.”
“From the end of this decade, 3G Long Term Evolution (LTE) will usher in a new wave of very high speed mobile broadband services, further extending the appeal of 3G/UMTS to operators and end users.”