Technology | Media | Telecommunications

Monday, October 06, 2008

Latin America Leads North America Mobile

According to 3G Americas, mobile wireless technology is on the move throughout the Western Hemisphere. Specifically, the GSM family of technologies is showing explosive growth. At the end of 2Q 2008, there were 472 million subscribers in North, Central and South America.

In North America there is additional footprint coverage of high-speed broadband UMTS/HSPA by AT&T, Rogers Wireless, Telcel, T-Mobile USA and others.

With the expansion of broadband coverage and UMTS/HSPA technology capabilities driving enhanced data applications, many cellular operators are reporting an average of about 20 percent of ARPU from wireless data service.

The trend for mobile wireless broadband in the Americas is very positive. In July, the Pew Internet and American Project released a comprehensive study on internet usage in America. This Pew study showed DSL and cable continue to dominate home broadband products, and when you study the report closely, you'll see that wireless broadband has gone from zero in 2002 to capturing 12 percent of the market today.

This means that about one in eight Americans use wireless as their primary means of accessing the internet -- a figure that many would have thought highly unlikely several years ago. And, for good reason given the comparative price of these service offerings.

Mobile wireless technology in Latin America continues to make significant progress in affecting resident's lives economically, socially and politically. There are 33 commercial deployments of UMTS/HSPA broadband technology in 17 countries.

As of June 30, 2008, the Latin America and Caribbean region leads the Western Hemisphere with more total subscribers (417 million) than North America (284 million) as well as more GSM customers -- 354 million in Latin America, as compared to North America's 118 million.

Worldwide there are over 3.3 billion subscribers for the GSM family of technologies with 214 UMTS/HSPA commercial deployments.