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EV-DO Data Subs Exceed 85 Million in 2008

The number of mobile phone subscriptions worldwide actively using data services via CDMA2000 1xEV-DO increased more than 80 percent year-on-year, according to the latest market study by Informa.

The figure surpassed 56 million at the end of 3Q07, up from 30.8 million a year earlier, to represent 15.3 percent of the world's overall CDMA base.

The increase was driven by Verizon Wireless (USA) and KDDI (Japan), the leading EV-DO operators, which accounted for 60 percent (33.8 million) of the world total between them at the end of 3Q07.

Verizon Wireless total EV-DO subscriptions increased nearly three-fold in the year to September 2007, boosted by a wider range of EV-DO-enabled devices. Currently 39 of the operator's 49 handsets are EV-DO-capable.

KDDI has the highest percentage of CDMA users that are also active users of data via EV-DO (56.4 percent). Innovative data services, as well as Japanese subscribers propensity to regularly upgrade to the latest handset models, are the reasons for the operator's success.

Informa forecasts that the total number of subscriptions actively using data via EV-DO (including Revision A and B) will exceed 85 million in 2008 and pass 115 million in 2009. Already, more than 80 million subscriptions are actively using EV-DO-enabled handsets for voice services, showing that there is a sizeable potential market for operators to promote their advanced data services.

Meanwhile, Informa Telecoms & Media forecasts that HSPA data subscriptions will reach nearly 50 million in 2008, before jumping to 107 million at the end of 2009 and nearly doubling again to 208 million in 2010.

Growth will be driven by more operators deploying the technology (more than 150 already have), as well as an improved portfolio of HSPA-enabled devices.

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