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Global HSPA subscriptions hit 50 million

25 августа 2008

Mobile broadband users predicted to grow at more than 4 million a month, driven by under-35s. The number of HSPA mobile broadband users has topped 50 million worldwide, rising from 11 million at the same time last year, according to the latest statistics released by the GSM Association.

There are currently 191 commercially launched HSPA networks in 89 countries, while the number of HSPA-enabled devices - including mobile phones, USB dongles and laptops - has reached 740 products from 116 manufacturers, according to the industry body.

Citing statistics from research firm Wireless Intelligence, the GSMA also said it expects the number of HSPA connections to grow at more than 4 million per month by the end of 2008.

"The market need for mobile broadband services has increased significantly in recent years," said Tetsuzo Matsumoto, chief strategy officer of Japanese mobile firm Softbank, in a statement from the GSMA.

"Softbank and other mobile operators who have deployed WCDMA networks, believe that HSPA satisfies these requirements because of its efficient spectrum usage as well as cost effectiveness for capacity expansion," he said.

One analyst believes that the number of HSPA users will hit 1 billion worldwide in five years' time.

"This is a significant achievement for HSPA and clear confirmation that it will be the dominant mobile broadband technology for the foreseeable future," said Howard Wilcox, senior analyst at Juniper Research.

"In addition we anticipate that growth will be driven by the sub-35 age range – 15 to 20 year-olds now who have been brought up with a mobile for as long as they can remember, broadband at home and digital multichannel TV," he said.

He commented that by the time this age group enters the world of work, mobile broadband will be taken for granted.

Wilcox also predicted that HSPA will come to be seen as a viable alternative to fixed broadband in rural and remote areas, and amongst users who "re-locate frequently."

The GSMA also said that although the number of commercial deployments has reached 191 across 89 countries, there have in total been 267 operator commitments to deploying HSPA networks in 111 countries.

"These figures pay testament to the growing power and appeal of mobile broadband, which is enabling customers to work and socialise in a range of innovative new ways," added Steve Pusey, Vodafone CTO, in the statement.

Источник: Total Telecom

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