SOURCE: 3G Americas

November 20, 2007 20:11 ET

Market Share for GSM Wireless Technology Grows to 62% in Western Hemisphere

Deployments of EDGE and UMTS/HSPA Achieve Milestones Setting the Pace for Wireless Data Services

BELLEVUE, WA--(Marketwire - November 20, 2007) - 3G Americas, an organization representing GSM technology in the Americas, today announces that the GSM technology family's market share in the Western Hemisphere -- North America, Central and South America, and the Caribbean -- has grown nine percentage points in the past twelve months, to 62%, up from 53% at the end of third quarter 2006. The GSM/EDGE/UMTS/HSPA deployment strategy is gaining global traction, with nearly 150 joint EDGE/UMTS networks commercially available. 3G Americas also reports almost 200 commercial UMTS networks, 150 of which are enhanced by HSDPA, and most UMTS operators are expected to upgrade network services with HSPA (HSDPA+HSUPA) building a truly global platform for ubiquitous wireless data services.

The number of GSM/UMTS subscriptions in the Western Hemisphere rose by more than 100 million in the past year, from approximately 282 million in September 2006 to 384 million at the end of September 2007, bringing total market share of the GSM family of technologies to 62%, according to third quarter data from Informa Telecoms and Media. During the same timeframe, market share for CDMA technologies declined from 33.5% to 31%, and now represents 193 million subscriptions within the Americas. In Latin America and the Caribbean alone, the number of GSM/UMTS subscriptions totaled nearly 276 million, for a market share of 78% at the end of the third quarter. GSM/UMTS subscriptions in the US and Canada numbered more than 108 million.

The GSM family of technologies now represents 86% of the global market, and numerous milestones were achieved up through today:

-- 400 UMTS/HSDPA devices launched by manufacturers.

-- 193 UMTS networks commercial; additional 71 networks planned or in deployment.

-- 152 commercial deployments of HSDPA in 67 countries.

-- 148 joint EDGE/UMTS networks; 244 commercial EDGE networks in 128 countries.

-- 17 HSUPA networks now commercial, with many more expected in 2008.

"2007 was the year 3G services started to become widely available throughout the Americas," remarked 3G Americas President, Chris Pearson. "There is widespread deployment of HSDPA in the US and Canada, and UMTS/HSPA networks are now launched in many markets in Latin America and the Caribbean."

Operators in Argentina (Personal, Movistar, CTI Movil), Chile (Entel PCS), Uruguay (Ancel, CTI Movil and Movistar), Paraguay (CTI Movil) and recently, Brazil (Telemig Celular and Claro) announced the launch of their UMTS services this year. A year ago, AT&T Mobility in Puerto Rico became the first operator to launch commercial UMTS services in the Caribbean.

Eva Benguigui, Senior Research Analyst Latin America with Informa Telecoms and Media, predicts, "Based on the eleven UMTS/HSPA network launches in Latin America and the Caribbean, and the many more to come in 2008, the number of UMTS/HSPA subscriptions in the region will reach 15.3 million by year end 2009." She continued, "This will be three times as many as those of alternative 3G technologies CDMA 2000 1xEV-DO (Rev O/A/B), forecast to number 5.2 million by the same date."

UMTS/HSPA subscriptions will number well over half a billion worldwide by year end 2009, according to Informa predictions, and are forecast to reach the 1 billion mark by year end 2011. The second most prevalent 3G technology, CDMA EV-DO (Rev O/A/B), will reach 115 million and 182 million subscriptions at year end 2009 and year end 2011, respectively.

Informa forecasts that by 2012, the 3G wireless market will include a total of 1.68 billion subscriptions, of which 1.3 billion will be UMTS/HSPA with a 78% share of market. In second place will be 230 million CDMA EV-DO (Rev O/A/B) subscriptions with a 14% share, and the remaining 8% share for other technologies such as TD-SCDMA or TD-CDMA. In a separate forecast, Informa predicts that mobile WiMAX will have 16.8 million subscriptions by year end 2012.

Chris Pearson continued, "Various analysts' forecasts for the future of 3G confirm the leadership role being played by the GSM family of technologies. The evolution of GSM and EDGE to UMTS/HSPA and beyond will sustain the leading share of the market."

To view 3G Americas and Informa Telecoms and Media 3Q 2007 subscription statistics and charts, visit www.3gamericas.org.

About 3G Americas: Unifying the Americas through Wireless Technology

The mission of 3G Americas is to promote and facilitate the seamless deployment throughout the Americas of GSM and its evolution to 3G and beyond. The organization fully supports the Third Generation technology migration strategy to EDGE and UMTS/HSPA adopted by many operators in the Americas that accounts for over 86% of next-generation customers worldwide. 3G Americas is headquartered in Bellevue, WA with an office for Latin America and the Caribbean in Dallas, TX. For more information, visit our website at www.3gamericas.org.

About Informa Telecoms & Media

Informa Telecoms & Media provides business intelligence and strategic services to the global telecoms and media markets. All of our products and services -- from news, trend analysis and forecasting to industry data, face-to-face events and training -- are driven by our deep understanding of the markets we serve and by our goal to help our clients make better business decisions. www.informatm.com

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