GSA Reports 3G/WCDMA Market Acceptance

New GSA surveys confirm market acceptance globally of 3G/WCDMA and GSM/EDGE

July 12, 2005

2 Min Read

SAWBRIDGEWORTH, U.K. -- New surveys by GSA (Global mobile Suppliers Association) confirm market acceptance globally, and the rapid evolution to 3G mobile services delivery enabled by GSM/3G. WCDMA take-up is much faster than GSM was at the same stage of its introduction. Regarding network deployments, the number of 3G/WCDMA networks delivering commercial services today stands at 78 networks in 36 countries, an increase of 18 networks during 2005. A further 5 networks are at the pre-commercial stage.

GSA confirms that 179 WCDMA device models are in the market from 26 suppliers, including 71 products launched this year. The number of WCDMA devices launched has quadrupled over the past 12 months. Approaching three quarters (132) of these devices are for use on WCDMA networks globally, with the remainder (47) targeted for the NTT DoCoMo FOMA service in Japan.

According to the latest subscriber data from Informa Telecoms & Media, the number of subscribers to WCDMA services reached 28.34 million globally by end June 2005, an increase of 11.46 million - or 68%, since end 2004.

GSA's latest survey of GSM/EDGE deployments underlines the important role of EDGE in delivering advanced mobile services. GSA confirms 44 operators currently operating or deploying combined WCDMA and EDGE networks, ensuring service continuity for the best user experience of 3G services. The survey confirms 147 network operators in 81 countries are committed to EDGE deployment. The number of networks delivering commercial EDGE-enabled services has doubled in 2005, now standing at 89 networks in 56 countries, compared to 40 networks at end 2004.

GSA's new EDGE Devices survey identifies 126 EDGE-enabled devices announced in the market, covering all segments, an increase of 70 models (125%) in 1H 2005.

The first GSA survey of Commercial EDGE Operators completed recently confirmed an impact on network traffic as the penetration of EDGE devices in use is building, while the need to invest in transmission capacity is already foreseen by some operators. Several operators reported a boost to ARPU compared to GPRS, with responses including "one-third higher than on GPRS", and "huge impact on data traffic and ARPU for business users". The survey confirmed that EDGE is mostly used for mobile office purposes to serve high-speed data for enterprise and business applications, especially in dense population areas. EDGE phones are providing video and music downloads and a better browsing experience with higher speed and xHTML browsers. Mobile TV-type service is seen as one key application for EDGE.

Global Mobile Suppliers Association

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