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Mobile Broadband Growing in LatAm and Caribbean

The 3GPP family of technologies, which includes LTE, continue to lead the mobile broadband wireless industry in the Americas -- adding 50 million new subscriptions in 2010 and reaching a total of over 116 million UMTS-HSPA connections at the end of the year.

According to the latest market study by Informa Telecoms & Media, with the addition of more than 80 million new connections in 2010, GSM-HSPA has widened its leadership margin in market share securing its position as the umber one technology in the Americas region.

The market share for GSM-HSPA mobile connections in Latin America and the Caribbean reached 94 percent, adding 66 million new connections in 2010. Of those new connections in the region, 22 million or one-third of all new connections were UMTS-HSPA mobile broadband.

"The availability of wireless services in Latin America and the Caribbean has already reached 96 percent penetration and data has grown 14 times faster than basic voice services during 2010, supported by the 64 HSPA commercial networks in 27 countries of the region,” said Erasmo Rojas, Director of Latin America and the Caribbean for 4G Americas.

América Móvil has experienced a consolidated 40 percent wireless data revenue growth and in countries such as Mexico a 28 percent data contribution to service revenues. For Telefónica, Latin America accounted for 43 percent of their revenues in 2010 and data represented 23 percent of mobile service revenues.

The challenge facing the operators in the region, to satisfy the exploding data demand triggered by new devices and applications, hinges on the quick response needed by regulators to release more harmonized spectrum.

At the end of 2010, the U.S and Canada had 77 million UMTS-HSPA mobile broadband subscriptions and GSM-HSPA-LTE technology continued to add more subscriptions than any other wireless technology with 14 million new subscriptions added in 2010 and market share rising to 45 percent.

Customer migration to UMTS-HSPA continued to increase with 27 million new UMTS-HSPA subscriptions recorded in the year ending 2010.

"GSM-HSPA operators in the U.S. had a great year, adding more than 10.6 million subscriptions in 2010," said Mike Roberts, principal analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media. "Across North and Latin America, GSM to HSPA accounted for 76 percent of mobile subscriptions at the end of 2010, up from 73 percent at the end of 2009."

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