Latin America reports 90% growth in uptake of 3GPP mobile broadband technologies

In Q2 2011, Latin America reported remarkable uptake of mobile broadband with an annual growth rate of more than 90 percent, close to double the number of mobile broadband subscriptions, for UMTS-HSPA, according to Informa Telecoms & Media.

Compared to a total base of 29.5 million UMTS-HSPA connections reported in the second quarter 2010, there were 56.1 million UMTS-HSPA connections reported at the second quarter of 2011.

In the Americas region, 3GPP technologies (GSM-UMTS-HSPA-LTE) grew by 19.26 million new subscriptions, of the total (net) 19.4 million mobile subscriptions added in the second quarter 2011 and represent 99.26 percent of the total new connections added in North, Central and South America.


The explosion of 3GPP mobile broadband (UMTS-HSPA-LTE) subscriptions, as service providers continue to upgrade their networks to HSPA and HSPA+ and now LTE mobile broadband, demonstrates the increasing demands of mobile users in advanced wireless technology services and applications, and the growing proliferation of smartphones.


A huge shift from 2G technologies is evident in the Americas region, with 3GPP mobile broadband subscriptions rising from 92 million at the end of second quarter 2010 up to 145 million as of June 2011.


3GPP technologies held a market share of 76 percent at June 30 in North, Central and South America, In the second quarter 2011 alone, GSM added almost 5 million new connections, while UMTS-HSPA added more than 13 million new connections and LTE added 1.23 million, for a total of 19.26 million new connections.


Total 3GPP subscriptions in the Americas reached 717 million as of June 2011, an increase of nearly 83 million new subscriptions in the region from June 2010 to June 2011.


“The 3GPP wireless technologies continue to lead the way in the Americas as one of the most prolific technology inventions for society,” said Chris Pearson, president of 4G Americas.


“HSPA and HSPA+ have provided a ubiquitous foundation for fast mobile broadband in North, Central and South America and LTE momentum is beginning to pick up in North America and the rest of the world,” Pearson added.

The market share for 3GPP technologies continued to increase in the Latin America and Caribbean region, rising above 94 percent at the end of the second quarter 2011.

Total 3GPP subscriptions (GSM-HSPA) equaled 564 million, supported by the addition of 69.6 million new 3GPP technology connections in the one year ending June 2011, of which 26.6 million were UMTS-HSPA mobile broadband connections. As noted, 3GPP mobile broadband subscriptions were close to double the number of subscriptions for the 12 months ending June 2011.


“HSPA and HSPA+ are providing Latin Americans with easy and efficient ways to connect to mobile broadband for work and play,” said Erasmo Rojas, director of Latin America and the Caribbean at 4G Americas.


“With the exciting momentum of HSPA+ deployments throughout the region, subscribers are simultaneously experiencing fast broadband connections for all types of business, enterprise and consumer value-added applications. The success of the HSPA evolution is paving the way for LTE trials and expected launches in many Latin countries during 2012,” Rojas added.


The Latin America and the Caribbean region offer a large coverage footprint of HSPA+ on 21 networks in 13 countries. This number is due significantly to America Movil launching nine new commercial HSPA+ networks under the Telcel, Comcel and Claro brands in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Peru and Puerto Rico.

Additional HSPA+ networks throughout Latin America and the Caribbean include Cellular One and Digicel in Bermuda; Digicel in Dominican Republic; LIME in Jamaica; Cable & Wireless in Panama; AT&T and T-Mobile in Puerto Rico; Movil de Entel in Bolivia; Movistar in Ecuador; and Iusacell in Mexico. In Chile, both Entel and Movistar offer HSPA+ dual carrier at peak theoretical downlink throughput at 42 Mbps.

In the U.S. and Canada, 3GPP technologies added a net 3.1 million new subscribers of the net total 4.7 new subscriptions in the second quarter of 2011. Included in this quarterly number were 6.6 million new mobile broadband (UMTS-HSPA) connections and 1.2 million LTE connections reflecting the customer shift from the second generation GSM and CDMA subscriber base to the next-generation technologies.

UMTS-HSPA subscriptions totaled nearly 89 million at the end of second quarter 2011, up 41 percent from one year earlier when UMTS-HSPA subscriptions totaled nearly 63 million.

Today, there are 16 commercially deployed HSPA networks in the U.S. and Canada, including 5 HSPA+ networks, an increase of 5 commercial networks since June 2010.

There are 3 LTE networks in the U.S. and Canada with 8 additional commercial launches expected by the end of 2011. LTE subscriptions achieved almost 2 million worldwide with North American subscriptions representing 93 percent of the global LTE subscriber base.

Worldwide, there are 412 commercial networks in 157 countries that offer HSPA, including 163 HSPA+ commercial networks in 80 countries. These HSPA+ networks are at varying levels of technical enhancements: 112 networks at peak theoretical download throughput rates of 21 Mbps; 10 networks at peak theoretical download throughput rates of 28 Mbps; and 41 networks at peak theoretical download throughput rates of 42 Mbps.

The 3GPP technology roadmap continues to progress with its evolution to LTE. There are currently 28 commercial networks in 20 countries with a total of 50 commercial LTE deployments expected by the end of 2011.

LTE will be the next-generation OFDMA-based global technology standard for GSM, CDMA, Greenfield and even WiMAX operators with commitments regarding future deployments by more than 250 operators worldwide.


By Team
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