Demand for Mobile Broadband Drives HSPA Past 500 Million Connections as the Mobile Data Revolution Continues

By Gsma, PRNE
Tuesday, June 7, 2011

LONDON, June 8, 2011 -

The GSMA today announced that HSPA Mobile Broadband connections will
reach 500 million worldwide by the end of June, making it the fastest growing
wireless technology ever(1). Furthermore, LTE, the next-generation Mobile
Broadband technology, has now reached one million connections only a year and
a half after the first commercial network launched. The announcement
highlights the impact of the explosive demand for smartphones, connected
tablets and Mobile Broadband dongles across the globe.

"Mobile Broadband has completely revolutionised the way we communicate.
Smartphones are now essential life devices for many people and are used for
everything from social networking to getting directions, listening to music
and streaming content," said Michael O'Hara, chief marketing officer at the
GSMA. "In parallel, we have seen a huge rise in the number of connected
devices, such as tablets and laptops, with people now relying on the ability
to connect from anywhere."

The rate of HSPA Mobile Broadband adoption in its first six years is ten
times greater than the take up of 2G mobile phones when they were first
introduced in the mid 1990s. Furthermore, over the next five years, mobile
operators will invest almost $100 billion(3) in HSPA, HSPA+ and
next-generation LTE networks that offer up to 100Mbps peak download speeds,
which is over ten times faster than the average wired broadband connection in
the USA today(4).

There are now more than 19 million HSPA connections being added each
month and it is predicted that the industry will reach one billion HSPA
connections by the end of 2012. LTE networks are also being rapidly
introduced, with one million connections already and 300 million expected by

Joss Gillet, senior analyst at Wireless Intelligence commented: "Mobile
Broadband has helped to reshape the tech landscape and bring ubiquitous
Internet connections into the palm of your hand. The fast adoption of mobile
Internet services has been fuelled by a rapid price erosion of devices, a
demand for innovative offers and tariffs, as well as expansion of network

"The global rollout of HSPA+ and LTE networks will play a leading role in
the evolution of cloud-based applications and services. Nevertheless, device
availability, regulation and pricing are key factors that will dictate growth
across global regions. With regards to LTE, the Asia Pacific region will
account for 43 percent of LTE connections by 2015, but growth will initially
be driven by developments in North America and Western Europe," continued

The announcement highlights the success of HSPA, which has driven vast
economies of scale across handsets, connected devices and network
infrastructure. More than 3,100 devices support HSPA and there are now 350
live HSPA networks across 132 countries worldwide. Furthermore, 88 HSPA
networks across 50 countries have been upgraded to HSPA+ with a further 52
network upgrades planned. HSPA+ offers peak download speeds of 84Mbps,
potentially rising to 168Mbps if deployed in wider spectrum bands.

However, as user demand for Mobile Broadband continues to grow, more
spectrum is needed to deliver the capacity that is required to support it.
Many governments have yet to allocate the 'digital dividend' spectrum in the
700-800 MHz band, which will be freed up from the switchover to digital
television and the 2.5-2.6 GHz band, which has been identified globally by
the ITU as the '3G extension band'. There is also further scope for expansion
through the refarming of 900 MHz and 1800 MHz spectrum, which are mainly used
for 2G networks by hundreds of operators worldwide.

Two charts that highlight the rapid adoption of HSPA (3G) vs. GSM (2G)
and other Mobile Broadband technologies are available here:

    Notes to editors
    (1) Wireless Intelligence 2011
    (2) IDC 2011
    (3) Operator CAPEX Summary 2011-2015 for LTE and HSPA, Rethink Technology
        Research (4) 9.54 Mbps In-Stat February 2011
        ( )

About the GSMA

The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide. Spanning
219 countries, the GSMA unites nearly 800 of the world's mobile operators, as
well as more than 200 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including
handset makers, software companies, equipment providers, Internet companies,
and media and entertainment organisations. The GSMA also produces
industry-leading events such as the Mobile World Congress and Mobile Asia

For more information, please visit Mobile World Live, the online portal
for the mobile communications industry, at or
the GSMA corporate website at

Ben Evetts, bevetts at or press at, +44-(0)-7879-614941

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