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.