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Technology Stocks : 3G Wireless: Coming Soon or Here Now?

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From: Eric L8/2/2009 7:18:56 AM
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H1 2009 Ending Global Subscriber Connections (Not Individual Subscribers)

The term subscriber is anachronistic and it can be VERY misleading. It dates back to an era where the vast majority of individuals using analog 1G or early digital 2G cellular services maintained a single postpaid subscription.

Prepaid subscriptions exploded on the world scene in 1999 (although introduced a few years earlier) did not exist in that earlier era. In that earlier era only a tiny minority of individuals maintained separate postpaid subscriptions for business or personal use, or for auto and hand portable cellular phones, and those individuals (or corporations) didn't maintain subscriptions for non-humans (as in M2M cellular subscriptions).

The SIM based portable subscription and the advent of prepaid subscriptions changed that dramatically. Today and increasingly, individuals subscribing cellular service(s) have one or more subscriptions, one or more cellular phones, and one or more cellular service providers. There are considerably more cellular subscriptions than there are individual subscribers to cellular services, and in many highly penetrated countries the number of mobile wireless subscribers' exceeds the countries population. To complicate matters further there is no uniform definition or duration of what constitutes an active prepaid subscription country to country or even network to network within a country.

There are two primary organizations maintaining authoritative global cellular databases for all mobile access bearer technologies tracking cellular 'subscribers' (i,e. subscriptions or subscriber connections) and related metrics and KPIs. They are Informa Telecoms and Media which absorbed the EMC World Cellular Database and information services as we'll as its ARC counterpart several years ago, and Wireless Intelligence which introduced the term 'subscriber connections' to more accurately define a subscription and differentiate it from 'subscribers.'

The tables below were abstracted from non-subscription statistical data publicly supplied by GSMA Mobile Infolink (posted in August 2009) from data in turn supplied to them by Wireless Intelligence (see 'data source' note following tables) ...

I. Global Subscriber Connections by World Region (all Access Technologies)

		             Number        Percentage
============= ==========
Africa 421,450,167 9.78%
Americas 477,727,711 11.08%
Asia Pacific 1,894,751,422 43.96%
Europe: Eastern 459,394,583 10.66%
Europe: Western 509,980,691 11.83%
Middle East 245,411,903 5.69%
USA/Canada 301,595,115 7.00%
----------- -----
World Total 4,310,311,592 100.0%

II. Global Subscriber Connections by Access Bearer

==================================================
Total 3GPP GSM/3GSM 2G & 3G Subscriber Connections
==================================================
GSM 3,449,010,903 80.02%
WCDMA 255,773,412 5.93%
WCDMA HSPA 132,079,727 3.06%
TD-SCDMA 825,044 0.02%
----------- -----
Total 3GPP GSM/3GSM 3,837,689,086 89.03% of Global Connections
==================================================
2G & 3G 3GPP2/TIA CDMA Subscriber Connections
==================================================
cdmaOne 2,512,409 0.06%
CDMA2000 1X 309,507,900 7.18%
CDMA2000 1xEV-DO 121,821,983 2.83%
CDMA2000 1xEV-DO R'A 13,912,386 0.32%
----------- -----
Total 3GPP2 CDMA 447,754,678 10.39% of Global Connections
==================================================
Other Subscriber Connections (all are 2G)
==================================================
TDMA 753,411 0.02%
PDC 2,752,436 0.06%
iDEN 21,361,981 0.50%
----------- -----
Total Other (2G) 24,867,828 0.58% of Global Connections
==================================================
Total Global Connections 4,310,311,592 100.0%


III. Total 2G Subscriber Connections

GSM 	                 3,449,010,903 	    80.02%
cdmaOne 2,512,409 0.06%
CDMA2000 1X 309,507,900 7.18%
TDMA 753,411 0.02%
PDC 2,752,436 0.06%
iDEN 21,361,981 0.50%
------------ -----
Total 2G Connections 3,785,899,040 87.86% of Global Connections

IV. Total 3G 'cdma based' Subscriber Connections

==================================================
3GPP 3GSM 3G UTRA-DS Family
==================================================
WCDMA 255,773,412 5.93%
WCDMA HSPA 132,079,727 3.06%
TD-SCDMA 825,044 0.02%
------------ -----
Total 3GPP UTRA 3G 388,678,183 9.01% of Global: 74.1% of 3G
==================================================
3GPP2 CDMA (CDMA2000) 3G Family
==================================================
CDMA2000 1xEV-DO 121,821,983 2.83%
CDMA2000 1xEV-DO R'A 13,912,386 0.32%
------------ -----
Total 3GPP2 CDMA 3G 135,734,369 3.15% of Global: 25.9% of 3G
==================================================
Total 3G Connections 524,412,552 12.16% of Global Connections
·
Data Source for All Above Tables: GSMA Mobile Infolink dated 08/07/09
with data provided by Wireless Intelligence whose database contains over
2,215,000 individual data points from 1286 networks in 220 countries.
Wireless Intelligence is a JV of GSMA and Ovum and is supported by CDG.


- Eric -
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