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Global Mobile Infrastructure and Subscribers

Infonetics Research released the fourth quarter (4Q08) edition of its Mobile Infrastructure and Subscribers report this week. Infonetics' quarterly report provides worldwide and regional market size, market share, analysis, and forecasts through 2013.

"The large majority of mobile operators have healthy balance sheets, so the global economic turmoil roiling many markets is not likely to have a significant impact on the mobile network infrastructure market, with a few exceptions in hard-hit regions mainly due to currency devaluation" said Stephane Teral, Infonetics Research.

Traffic growth remains unabated and many networks are fairly loaded. China is in the midst of massive 3G rollouts, and India will soon follow, fueling the market in 2009.

Infonetics market study found the following:

- The worldwide mobile network infrastructure equipment market grew 6 percent to $50.8 billion in 2008 over 2007, and will continue to grow in 2009 and 2010.

- Currency appreciation is having a significant impact on vendors in this space, with the U.S. and Hong Kong dollars, Indian rupee, yuan/renminbi, and yen all up; only Ericsson, which reports in Swedish kroner, was not significantly affected.

- Declines are expected in the overall market starting in 2011, led by losses in the behemoth RAN segment due to near coverage saturation and price pressure from operators.

- 2008 was another record year for GSM rollouts, pushing the GSM network equipment market up 1 percent, as major 3G rollouts materialized in many markets across the globe.

- The 3G GSM network equipment market jumped 32 percent in 4Q08 over 3Q08 and will continue growing in 2009, driven by massive 3G build-outs in China and India.

- The emerging mobile packet core and mobile softswitching segments continue to be the brightest spots of the mobile infrastructure market, driven by an unstoppable migration to IP.

- The TD-SCDMA equipment market in China is off to a strong start.

- Ericsson gained market share in 4Q08, strengthening its #1 position for overall RAN equipment revenue, ahead of Nokia Siemens, Alcatel-Lucent, Huawei, and Nortel.

- Huawei snagged the #1 spot from Nokia Siemens in the fast-growing mobile switching subsystem market in 4Q08, putting them in the lead for 2008 overall.

- Worldwide HLR revenue grew 21 percent in 4Q08 over 3Q08.

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