Technology | Media | Telecommunications

Friday, June 04, 2010

Mobile Broadband Growth Throughout the Americas

The 3GPP mobile broadband technology (UMTS-HSPA) realized growth of 81 percent throughout the Americas in the year ending March 2010, according to the latest market study by 3G Americas.

Propelled by an increase in 3G wireless network deployments, upgrades to HSPA networks, mobile broadband subscriptions, netbooks and smartphones, mobile phone service providers are reporting significant growth in revenue from data related services.

"Mobile broadband is growing at an explosive rate throughout the Western Hemisphere as the investment by operators in networks and devices is delivering advanced services to customers," said Chris Pearson, President of 3G Americas. "This is evidenced by the strong growth of mobile broadband subscriptions in North, Central and South America."

Total 3GPP subscriptions (GSM-HSPA) in the Western Hemisphere reached 621.7 million as of March 2010 -- and captured 74 percent share of market. In the first quarter alone, there were 22.1 million new subscriptions reported in the Western Hemisphere.

The Latin America and Caribbean region continued to see a dramatic increase in market share for 3GPP technologies, rising to 92 percent at the end of the first quarter of 2010. This was supported by the addition of 20 million new 3GPP technology connections, of which 5 million were UMTS-HSPA connections.

In the U.S. and Canada, 3GPP technologies added a net 2 million new subscribers in the first quarter of 2010 and included in this number were 5 million new mobile broadband (UMTS-HSPA) connections.

According to industry analyst Chetan Sharma, in the U.S., where all four national wireless service providers are within the top 10 global mobile data operators, average industry percentage contribution of data to overall ARPU crossed the 30 percent mark in 1Q 2010 and is likely to get past 35 percent by the end of the year.

At the first quarter of this year, there were 4.3 billion 3GPP connections worldwide, with 3GPP mobile broadband subscriptions nearing the half billion point at 493 million UMTS-HSPA connections, a number that continues to grow and represented 11.4 percent of all subscriptions.