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Global mobile connections top 5 billion

12 июля 2010

Global mobile connections this week surpassed 5 billion, just 18 months after reaching the 4 billion milestone, according to new data published by Wireless Intelligence.

The research firm said that 5 billion connections represents global mobile penetration of 74%, and what's more it expects the total number of connections to reach 6 billion by the first half of 2012.

Asia-Pacific was the main growth driver, claimed Wireless Intelligence, accounting for 47% of global mobile connections at the end of the second quarter of 2010. By comparison Europe and North America together now account for 27% of connections worldwide, compared to 30% 18 months ago.

Still, Western Europe remains the most saturated region with penetration reaching 130%, while the lowest is Africa, with 52% penetration.

While GSM still accounts for the majority of connections, its share has declined 5% to 78% as customers in more developed markets migrate to WCDMA-based mobile technology, said Wireless Intelligence.

"GSM connections declined by 9% year-on-year in Western Europe, and by 12% in North America, compared to 3G growth of 34% and 16% respectively," said Joss Gillet, senior analyst at Wireless Intelligence, in a research note.

He commented that 3G-enabled phones now constitute two thirds of operators' handset portfolios in these two regions, and represent a third of their user base.

"In most cases, mobile broadband connections represent a smaller share of operators' installed base – below 5% on average," he added.

Meanwhile CDMA's share of global mobile connections stayed flat at roughly 10%, said Wireless Intelligence.

"CDMA technology remains strongest in North America where it is used by Verizon Wireless and Sprint in the U.S., and by Telus and Bell Mobility in Canada; however, many of these operators have confirmed alternative technology roadmaps going forward," said the company.

Gillet also noted contrasting patterns between prepaid and contract uptake by customers in North America and Western Europe.

Indeed, prepaid connections in the latter region declined 2% on-year during the first quarter of 2010, while contract connections grew by 7%.

"In Europe, operators have long switched their focus to customer retention and value share rather than customer share – as a result, the migration of prepaid users to contract is happening faster than in any other region," he said.

However, during the same period prepaid connections in North America grew by 19% compared to 3% growth in contract connections, said Gillet.

"In North America the situation is different since operators are using wholesale prepaid offers to counter stalling contract growth," he said.

Источник: Total Telecom

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