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100 Million New UMTS Subscribers in Past Year

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3G Americas, a wireless industry trade association representing the GSM family of technologies has reported that UMTS HSPA technology added over 100 million subscriptions in the twelve months ending in the third quarter 2008 achieving a significant milestone in subscriber additions.

GSM operators throughout the Americas region continue to evolve their networks to UMTS/HSPA. To date, there are 39 commercial UMTS/HSPA networks in the Americas region in 19 countries. Worldwide, there are more than 256 commercial UMTS/HSPA networks in over 100 countries.

"As evidenced by the subscriber growth numbers, the GSM family of technologies continues to provide the four key ingredients for mobile wireless success: Coverage, Technology Performance, Devices and Applications," stated Chris Pearson, President of 3G Americas. "The UMTS/HSPA mobile broadband technology achieved a total of 262 million subscriptions at the end of September 2008, continuing in its ranking as the leader in high speed mobile broadband technology worldwide."

"It's remarkable what has occurred in the transition of the GSM family of technologies to mobile broadband in Latin America and the Caribbean in only ten years," commented Erasmo Rojas, Director of Latin America and the Caribbean. "In 1998, the first GSM network was deployed in the region, it took only five years before EDGE was commercially deployed in Chile in 2003, and three years later the first commercial UMTS/HSPA network was also deployed in Chile. In 2008, to complete this amazing 3G uptake, HSUPA was deployed in Uruguay and Brazil. Moving the needle from zero GSM subscribers in 1998, there were more than 377 million GSM/HSPA subscribers by the third quarter 2008. In less than two years the Latin America region has deployments of 36 commercial UMTS/HSPA networks in 17 countries."

"Equally impressive is the uptake of 3G services throughout the region driven by the phenomenal success of the HSPA-enabled USB dongle as a competitive fixed broadband alternative, both on speed and price. In many cases, it is indeed the only available broadband connection," continued Rojas.

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