2006 – Was it the Year of the 3G network?


It started off with 100 Commercial 3G/W-CDMA networks in 42 countries and ended with 146 in 67 countries.  The increase in subscribers though was considerable adding 60million during 2006, from under 42million to over 100million at the beginning of 2007. 

The increase though in HSDPA networks though is off considerable interest

“The pace of adoption of High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) has been truly remarkable. HSDPA is the first evolution of WCDMA, delivering advanced mobile multimedia services with typical user throughputs of 800 kbps to 3.0 Mbps (according to individual network and device capabilities). There are now 142 operators committed to deploy HSDPA in 65 countries, of which 96 networks have already launched commercial services, ensuring the full mobile broadband experience. It means that two-thirds of commercial WCDMA operators have also launched HSDPA.

92 HSDPA networks entered commercial service during 2006. HSDPA is now commercially available in 53 countries, including 25 of the 27 countries which make up the European Union, as well as in Africa, the Americas, Asia, Australia and the Middle East. GSA also confirms that a growing number of HSDPA networks support 3.6Mbps (peak) data as at least 29 networks had launched or were upgrading to 3.6Mbps, with further increases planned as part of the evolution to 14.4Mbps peak.” Source= gsa.com


The full report and survey from the GSA is available at http://www.gsa.com

Highlights of this Update: –

  • 2.244 billion GSM/WCDMA subscriptions worldwide (31.12.06) –
  • GSM/WCDMA now accounts for 83.8% of the world mobile market (80.3% in December 2005) –
  • GSM/WCDMA added 500 million subscriptions worldwide in 2006, i.e. average daily growth of 1.372 million.
  • GSM.WCDMA growth in 2006 was 68 million more than the current total “installed base” of all other cellular technologies combined – TDMA, PDC, iDEN, all analogue, cdmaOne, CDMA2000 1X, CDMA2000 1xEV-DO –
  • 200 3G mobile networks have now launched, and 146 (73%) use the WCDMA system –
  • 146 commercial 3G/WCDMA networks in 67 countries – Over 96 million WCDMA subscriptions (31.12.06); average monthly growth in 2006 = 4 million.
  • Forecast to year 2011 is given – 142 operators committed to deploy HSDPA in 65 countries; 96 HSDPA networks launched in 53 countries; 48 networks i.e. 50% combine HSDPA and EDGE

The GSM/3G Market Update – February 1, 2007 can be downloaded at http://www.gsacom.com


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