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GSM adds 200 million new users in 2003
Posted on 19-Feb-2004 21:26. | Tags Filed under: News.

GSM adds 200 million new users in 2003
According to a report from the Global Mobile Suppliers Association, the GSM technology made excellent ground in 2003. There were 246 million new digital subscribers added in 2003, which took the global total of mobile phone users to 1.38 billion by end of 2003. Of these new subscribers 80.5%, or 198 million, selected GSM.

This accounts for a 71% share of the total subscriptions with over 500 operators in over 190 countries. GSM grew by a monthly average of 16.5 million new subscribers, outperforming the market and underlining GSM's position as the global service and standard for mobile communications. By the end of 2003 there were also 2.8 million 3GSM (WCDMA) subscribers with 13 networks were offering commercial services, in addition to 15 networks in pre-commercial phase.

Customer growth in GSM in the year to December 2003 was 80% of net subscriber additions. The strongest growth in subscriber numbers was in Asia Pacific, while China maintained its position as the world's largest mobile market. Most operators of TDMA and CDMA networks committed to implementing GSM/GPRS overlays, primarily in the Americas where GSM is growing strongly, just having passed 20 million subscribers landmark in total in Latin and Central America by year end.

Asia Pacific added 82.4 million GSM subscribers. In addition, Latin America and Eastern Europe were the other two regions where GSM was the only technology to increase its regional market share. Also in the US, GSM developed favourably: GSM subscribers in the USA and Canada increased by 77%.

Western Europe added 32 million new GSM subscribers, and in Eastern Europe GSM subscribers increased by over 34 million, continuing an amazing growth by 45% year-on-year. Especially Russia contributed to the growth by over 17 million new subscribers during 2003.

A previous report from the GSM association says that the technology will reach more than 1 billion users by the end of Q1 2004.

"The number of new GSM subscribers in 2003 alone, 198 million, is greater than the entire cumulative subscriber base of the next biggest digital standard," says Alan Hadden, President of the Global mobile Suppliers Association.

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