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Summary:

The 3G networks are going into service worldwide with a regularity, and now even newer telephony markets are getting into the act. According to RBC Capital Markets, there are 130 WCDMA networks (85 million subscribers) worldwide, of which 73 have been upgraded to HSDPA. In comparison, […]

The 3G networks are going into service worldwide with a regularity, and now even newer telephony markets are getting into the act.

According to RBC Capital Markets, there are 130 WCDMA networks (85 million subscribers) worldwide, of which 73 have been upgraded to HSDPA. In comparison, the data on 3G Today shows that as of September 2006, there were 44.4 million EVDO subscribers worldwide. These numbers are going to increase sharply when US market starts to sizzle. We covered the state of the US market yesterday, comparing the EVDO and HSDPA markets.


The big bump however will come when the fast growing markets such as China, India and Brazil get into the 3G action. China is expected to get going next year, but who knows what goes on there.

The word out of India, according to local newspapers is that first 3G network in that country would be live by middle of 2007. The services will be available in the 450MHz, 800MHz and 2100MHz bands, and the local regulator is now making the 1900 MHz available for the CDMA-based operators to trial their 3G services and set a time frame for launch.

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  1. With the advancement in GSM equipment tech, Airtel is all set to deploy 3G services on existing 2G networks in India. This has kicked off a new war in India – Charge the 2G spectrum. Oho! Good Grief, My dear CDMA operators!!!

  2. Hey Om. It would be very nice if you give us links to larger versions of your images plus the source.

    (decide: no pics or good pics plus larger versions)

  3. alex, sorry about that. totally forgot to link those pictures. uploading them right now.

  4. Indian licenses awarded Om
    http://blog.roam4free.ie/3-plans-for-india/
    keep up the good work.

  5. I am always amused by mobile phone statistics. Apparently they consider selling a phone a “subscriber”, even though strictly speaking that’s not true.

    Check out this graph: http://www.3gamericas.org/English/Statistics/2.cfm

    It shows GSM is trouncing 3G (CDMA and the like) by nearly 7 to 1. So much for “3 G next generation”.

    Quick primer: GSM is old fashioned 2G, but it works. That’s what people are used to. 3G offers better “QoS” (basically it won’t drop your calls as easy) and allows faster data transfers (good for sending photos wirelessly) but GSM can make up for its shortcomings by building more GSM towers.

    I would not bet serious money on CDMA (3G), though companies are doing so because its in their charter. Good luck to them. Hope they don’t end up like the fiber optic companies in the late 1990s.

  6. Pat:

    For a moment my eye balls popped out as to how I missed out that Indian 3G Licenses were awarded and I wasn’t aware of the same. The blog fails to mention it was 2G license. Glad I specifically wrote that this morning when I blogged the same.

  7. 3G offers better “QoS” (basically it won’t drop your calls as easy) and allows faster data transfers (good for sending photos wirelessly) but GSM can make up for its shortcomings by building more GSM towers.

    CDMA has certain advantages in a low density environment; GSM has certain advantages in a high density environment. GSM has some definite weaknesses in rural areas where “building more towers” isn’t an issue.

    Also, Ray, your comment seems confused. GSM is moving to WCDMA, and that is a 3G service. The official GSM standards body has decreed it. There’s a lot of confusion because CDMA is a multiplexing technique but also commonly used to refer to a particular standard. Next generation GSM uses the CDMA multiplexing technique (and is called WCDMA), but is not related to the CDMA standard that’s pushed by Qualcomm (though Qualcomm gets royalties from WCDMA also). WCDMA is not backwards or forwards compatible with GSM (though dual mode phones are available) the way that 2G CDMAOne and 3G CDMA2000 (EV-DO for the data mode) are.

  8. I am always amused by mobile phone statistics. Apparently they consider selling a phone a “subscriber”, even though strictly speaking that’s not true.

    Wrong, they consider selling a SIM card as a subscriber. Multiple counting of “subscribers” in the GSM world.

    Even the firm behind the GSM Association statistics (Wireless Intelligence which is co-owned by GSM Association themselves) — acknowledge that there might be 500 million double counting in the GSM numbers.

  9. The HSDPA map is incorrect. New Zealand had HSDPA launched before Australia, but it’s not shown…

  10. We have never seen reliable statistic on how many phone numbers are actually active e.g. placed voice or data call in the last month.

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