The Global mobile Suppliers Association released a document last month detailing rollouts of 50 HSDPA networks across the world. A quote from their website
“Citing new GSA research, 102 operators in 50 countries have now committed to HSDPA of which 34 HSDPA networks have commercially launched services in 27 countries/territories, namely in the Americas (USA), APAC (Hong Kong, Malaysia, The Philippines, South Korea), Europe (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Hungary, Germany, Isle of Man, Italy, Lithuania, Madeira, Netherlands, Portugal, Switzerland) and the Middle East & Africa (Bahrain, Israel, Kuwait, South Africa, UAE).
GSA estimates that at least 63 HSDPA networks will have commercially launched by end 2006.”
Interestingly enough there is no mention of the UK here, where we are aware that both Vodafone and 3 Uk are involved in HSDPA rollouts. With existing datacard customers able to benefit from increased download speeds of HSDPA. The interesting question is how far away are the handsets to enable effective use of these speeds. Again from the GSA report it gives a picture of how the handsets for WCDMA or 3G networks are becoming more widely available with 355 different types of devices being available, up nearly 200 since this time last year.
“GSA also regularly surveys devices availability, including handsets, for 3G/WCDMA voice and data applications. The situation is extremely positive, with 355 WCDMA-capable devices launched by 41 suppliers, compared to 166 (from 25 suppliers) at May 2005, which represents growth of 114%. Today, WCDMA devices are competitive with traditional GSM products
with regards to size, weight, battery life, functionality, performance and cost.” (source GSA market Report June 2006)
The full review is here at gsacom.com including the full market report (registration required for PDF file)