3GPP Mobile Broadband Subscriptions Now Exceed 100 Million in Western Hemisphere
4G Americas - a wireless industry trade association - has announced that more than 100 million mobile broadband customers in the Americas region are using 3GPP technology. With an annualized growth rate of 77 percent for the Western Hemisphere, including 158 percent annual growth in Latin America and 55 percent in the U.S. and Canada, the regional growth for 3GPP mobile broadband far exceeds the 40 percent growth of 3GPP mobile broadband worldwide at the 12 months ending September 2010 (subscriber data according to Informa Telecoms & Media WCIS).
The Western Hemisphere added 11 million UMTS-HSPA subscriptions in the third quarter of 2010, of the total 44 million new UMTS-HSPA subscriptions worldwide, representing a quarter of the new global 3GPP mobile broadband subscriptions.
"The future for mobile broadband has never been brighter," said Chris Pearson, President of 4G Americas. "The momentum of the 3GPP family of mobile broadband technologies, such as HSPA and LTE, provides the foundation for transforming many areas of society. The recent ratification of LTE-Advanced as an ITU 4G IMT-Advanced technology was a significant achievement for the wireless industry and continues the progress of high speed wireless access."
At the end of September 2010, subscriptions for UMTS-HSPA hit 99.3 million, with more than 11 million new mobile broadband connections in the third quarter alone representing nearly 13 percent growth. On an annual basis, over the 12 months ending September 2010, mobile broadband technology subscriptions reached 43 million to show nearly 77 percent growth in one year.
The 3GPP family of technologies represent a 75 percent market share in the Americas region and added a net total of 78 million new subscriptions in the 12 month period ending September 2010. With 43.1 million UMTS-HSPA total added subscriptions, mobile broadband represents 55 percent of all 3GPP additions in the year and 66 percent of all net additions for 3GPP technologies in the quarter.
U.S. and Canada
HSPA subscriptions in North America grew by nearly 6.2 million. Net additions in the third quarter totaled 3.8 million for GSM-HSPA. This was the largest number of new customers for any wireless technology in the U.S. and Canada.
Total 3GPP subscriptions (GSM-HSPA) in the U.S. and Canada hit 143.8 million as of September 2010. In the 12 months ending September 2010, 3GPP technologies grew by nearly 14 million subscriptions compared to the 10 million new CDMA subscriptions. At the close of the quarter, 3GPP technologies achieved nearly 45 percent market share in the U.S. and Canada.
"For North America, subscriptions to UMTS-HSPA mobile broadband are expected to overtake 2G GSM technologies in the fourth quarter of 2010," stated Mike Roberts, Principal Analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media. "3G technology subscriptions are forecast to surpass 2G in Canada in 2011."
Latin America and Caribbean
The Latin America and Caribbean region continued to increase in market share for 3GPP technologies, rising to 93.4 percent and adding 14.5 million new subscriptions in the third quarter. UMTS-HSPA contributed significantly to this number, with 5.2 million new subscriptions for the quarter. In the 12 months ending September 2010, 3GPP technologies added a total of 64.2 million including 18.8 million UMTS-HSPA connections.
"Latin America continues to adopt 3G data services at a very rapid pace; 36 percent of all new wireless subscriptions during the third quarter were HSPA technology," said Erasmo Rojas, Director of Latin America and the Caribbean for 4G Americas. "HSPA+ has also been commercially launched in two countries of the region (Bermuda and Chile) with many more expected during 2011. The increased appetite of users for data and value added services has helped the Latin America operators to steadily increase their data revenue contribution to 19 percent of ARPU."
All Roads Lead to LTE
Informa Telecoms & Media forecasts that there will be 1.5 million LTE subscribers in the U.S. at the end of 2011 increasing to more than 70 million at end of 2015.
"The U.S. will be the largest LTE market in the world through 2015 due to high mobile broadband penetration rates, the increasing popularity of smartphones and early LTE launches by Metro PCS and particularly mobile market leaders Verizon Wireless and AT&T, which plan to launch the technology in late 2010 and mid-2011, respectively," Roberts said.