Four Million Subscribers a Month Set 3G Record
Telecoms operators connected four million subscribers per month to third generation (3G) fast wireless networks in 2006 - making it the fastest-growing mobile phone technology in history.
Around the world, 146 mobile carriers were offering 3G services by the end of 2006 and 96 of those have already upgraded their 3G networks to make them two to ten times faster than the initial systems, according to industry group GSA which groups vendors of infrastructure equipment and mobile telephones.
Over 100 million mobile phone users now subscribe to a 3G service in 67 countries around the world, the GSA found. The usage of 3G services is important to mobile operators, because these networks allow faster downloads of music and video and data services.
This segment is the only one that still offers revenue growth for mobile operators in developed markets, where every adult already carries a mobile phone and the effect of additional voice calls is eaten up by price cuts due to competition and regulation.
The adoption of 3G services in the years after introduction is faster than those of second generation mobile voice GSM services in the 1990s, said market research group Informa.
Four years after the launch, 3G services have attracted around 50 per cent more customers than GSM after its introduction in the 1990s.
Today, however, GSM subscriber growth is faster than 3G subscriber growth because of the popularity in emerging markets where GSM phones can be bought for around pounds 20 - three to four times less than 3G phones. …