GSM Envelops the Americas

3G Americas says GSM coverage expanded in nearly every country in the Americas at a growth rate of more than 60% from March 2002 to March 2003

June 25, 2003

2 Min Read

BELLEVUE, Wash. -- 3G Americas reports GSM's significant progress in the Americas with coverage expanding in nearly every country in the region and at a growth rate of more than 60% from March 2002 to March 2003. Based on figures from EMC World Cellular Database, GSM represents the largest percentage of growth of any wireless technology in the Americas. This growth is significant not only due to the new deployments by GSM operators, but also the GSM overlays by existing TDMA and CDMA operators. This clearly demonstrates the ability of GSM to successfully compete in these largely mature markets.

During this one-year period, GSM customers in Latin America nearly doubled - resulting in 97% annual growth. GSM in the U.S. and Canada accounted for a 47% growth rate. Globally, GSM added over 169 million customers, bringing the total number of worldwide GSM subscribers to more than 833 million at the end of first quarter 2003.

Chris Pearson, Executive Vice President of 3G Americas commented, "Operators and their customers, whether deploying newly licensed networks or migrating to 3G services, continue to choose the GSM technology, making it the most rapidly expanding wireless technology in the Americas. To date, GSM has been selected for next-generation network overlays by 42 TDMA operators and one CDMA operator in the region."

Pearson added, "Building upon GSM's extensive global roaming footprint are more than 100 GSM operators in the Americas. Rural, regional and national operators in the region continue to choose GSM for the technical and business merits that offer significant advantages over other technologies for migration to 3G. We expect this momentum to continue as 3G EDGE networks are launched by GSM operators starting in the next few months."

As one of the most spectrally efficient 3G technologies, EDGE will support average data rates of 80-130 Kbps and theoretical data throughput up to 473 Kbps, and will build upon the GPRS packet-based wireless data platform. It is expected that EDGE will be launched first by North American GSM operators during the second half of 2003, with commitments by 16 operators in the Americas representing 95 million customers. EDGE deployments in Europe, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East have also been announced, making EDGE a truly global 3G technology.

"Customers continue to select GSM and GPRS throughout Latin America for its great quality of service, roaming and wireless data services," remarked Erasmo Rojas, Director of Latin America and the Caribbean for 3G Americas. Rojas added, "The successful introduction of GSM is well documented when you examine the experiences in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico and the Caribbean."

3G Americas LLC

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