Worldwide subscriptions to 3G/UMTS (WCDMA) networks had topped the 50M mark by the end of January, says the UMTS Forum

February 9, 2006

1 Min Read

LONDON -- Worldwide subscriptions to 3G/UMTS (WCDMA) networks had topped the 50 million mark by the end of January 2006, says mobile industry body The UMTS Forum

The latest figure confirms 3G/UMTS as the world's most popular 3G wireless technology. Globally, WCDMA plus CDMA2000 1x EV-DO customers now represent a combined base of more than 72 million 3G users.

Europe's contribution to the global WCDMA subscriber base is also increasing, forging ahead of Japan that has until now represented the world's single largest WCDMA market. Thanks to a surge in network launches during the second half of 2005 plus strong pre-Christmas marketing activity by operators, the European total stands at more than 25 million 3G/UMTS customers - 51% of the global WCDMA base.

There are now more than 100 WCDMA networks operating commercially in 42 countries worldwide, supported by a choice of over 250 devices from Asian, European and North American manufacturers.

The latest figures have been confirmed by Wireless Intelligence – the mobile market information provider that collects data on a regular basis from operators worldwide.

"The speed with which this milestone has been passed underlines the health of 3G/UMTS worldwide – and the unstoppable evolution towards mobile broadband and the personal Internet ", comments UMTS Forum Chairman Jean-Pierre Bienaimé:

"Our own forecasts had suggested that subscriptions would exceed 50 million by the end of January, and these results are in line with our expectations.

“Continued roll-out of networks is supported by a fast-expanding choice of feature-rich terminals and innovative operator offerings”, notes Bienaimé.“It's clear that 2006 is going to witness further growth for 3G/UMTS subscriptions and services, accelerated by the commercial launch of broadband HSDPA networks in Asian, North American and European markets.”

UMTS Forum

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