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3GPP Mobile Broadband Technologies Achieve 73% of New Connections in the Americas

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3GPP mobile broadband technology (UMTS HSPA) grew by 11.9 million new subscriptions, of the total (net) 16.3 million mobile subscriptions added in the second quarter 2010 throughout the Americas, reports 3G Americas. The explosion of 3GPP mobile broadband subscriptions earmarks the increasing interest of mobile users in advanced 3G technology services and applications, and the growing proliferation of smartphones, and represents 73 percent of the total (net) new connections in the mobile industry in North, Central and South America in the second quarter.

"The Americas was the world's fastest-growing region for UMTS-HSPA subscriptions in the year ending June 2010 and helped the technology break through the half-billion milestone to reach 535 million subscriptions worldwide during the second quarter, representing 11 percent of total global mobile subscriptions, up from 9 percent in the second quarter of 2009," said Mike Roberts, Principal Analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media.

Western Hemisphere

Only GSM and UMTS-HSPA realized new subscription gains in the Western Hemisphere during the second quarter. GSM added close to 7 million new connections, while UMTS-HSPA added 11.9 million new connections, for a total of 18.8 million new connections. Other technologies showed a net loss of nearly 1.8 million customers in the region.

Total GSM-HSPA subscriptions in the Western Hemisphere reached 636 million as of June 2010 and captured 75 percent share of market, rising a percentage point from the first quarter of 2010. In the second quarter alone, there were 18.8 million new GSM-HSPA subscriptions reported in the Western Hemisphere. Overall, there were 78.2 million new GSM-HSPA subscriptions added in the Western Hemisphere from June 2009 to June 2010.

In the 12 months ending June 2010, there were 38 million new UMTS-HSPA 3GPP mobile broadband connections for a total of nearly 86.3 million 3G subscribers, which represented 79 percent growth in the region on 70 commercial UMTS-HSPA networks.

"UMTS-HSPA continues to lead the Americas in providing high speed data services for customers to enable a myriad of business and consumer applications," stated Chris Pearson, President of 3G Americas. "The wireless industry is just at the very beginning of the mobile broadband tsunami that will encompass social, enterprise and vertical industry applications for years to come."

Latin America & Caribbean

The Latin America and Caribbean region continued to increase in market share for 3GPP technologies, rising to 93 percent at the end of the second quarter of 2010. This was supported by the addition of 14.8 million new 3GPP technology connections, of which 4.7 million were UMTS-HSPA connections. In the 12 months ending June 2010, 3GPP technologies added a total of 65.8 million new connections, including 14.7 million UMTS-HSPA subscriptions. Total GSM-HSPA subscriptions equaled 496 million, including 23.9 million UMTS-HSPA subscriptions, meaning that 3G subscriptions increased by 24.5 percent in the second quarter from the first quarter when they totaled 19.2 million, and rose 161 percent in 12 months.

"Mobile broadband adoption in Latin America keeps growing at a very frenetic pace; while in June 2009 less than 2 percent of total subscriptions were UMTS-HSPA, by June 2010 this adoption rate more than doubled reaching 4.5 percent of total wireless subscriptions," remarked Erasmo Rojas, Director of Latin America and the Caribbean, 3G Americas. "The continuous effort of wireless operators in Latin America to invest in mobile broadband infrastructure, devices and innovative services, has produced a healthy increase in the data contribution to service revenues reaching 19 percent in the first half of 2010 in the region."

Today, there are 59 UMTS-HSPA networks commercially deployed in 25 countries throughout Latin America and the Caribbean including one HSPA+ network in the Caribbean.

"CDMA subscriptions continued to decline in Latin America and the Caribbean", stated Daniele Tricarico, Latin America Analyst, Informa Telecoms & Media, "CDMA now accounts for 5.4 percent of total subscriptions in the region, while in the same period last year, the CDMA subscription share was 7.7 percent."

USA and Canada

In the U.S. and Canada, 3GPP technologies added a net 3.3 million new subscribers in the second quarter of 2010 and included in this number were 7.2 million new mobile broadband (UMTS-HSPA) connections. UMTS-HSPA subscriptions totaled 62.4 million at the end of second quarter 2010, up 59.7 percent from a year earlier when UMTS-HSPA subscriptions totaled 39 million.

Kristin Paulin, North America Analyst, Informa Telecoms & Media, noted, "CDMA's share of total North American subscriptions declined slightly both year-over-year and sequentially, falling from 53 percent to 52 percent in both cases. GSM-HSPA's share, on the other hand, grew slightly from 43 percent of total North American subscriptions the second quarter 2009 to 44 percent in second quarter 2010." Paulin clarified that, "3G UMTS-HSPA contributed 20 percent of this market share."

Today, there are 11 commercially deployed UMTS-HSPA networks in the U.S. and Canada, 3 additional commercial networks since March 2010, including 5 HSPA+ networks.

Global

At the second quarter of this year, there were nearly 4.5 billion 3GPP connections worldwide, with 3GPP mobile broadband subscriptions well past the half billion point at 535.5 million UMTS-HSPA connections, a number that continues to grow and represents 11 percent of all mobile subscriptions.

Worldwide, 358 commercial networks in 142 countries offer UMTS-HSPA. As of September, 2010, there are 69 HSPA+ commercial networks worldwide in 37 countries.

The 3GPP technology roadmap will continue to evolve with the further evolution to LTE. 126 operators have anticipated deployments of 3GPP LTE technology, with four networks already commercially launched by TeliaSonera in Sweden, Finland and Uzbekistan (Ucell) as well as by MTS in Uzbekistan. There are an additional 85 anticipated announcements regarding LTE by operators worldwide. This places the number of anticipated commercial LTE networks at more than 200 worldwide over the coming years.

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