Posted on 22-Sep-2005 00:11.
Filed under: News
As recently as 2002 the mobile industry celebrated reaching 1 billion subscribers, just 20 years after it was introduced, making it the fastest growing technology at that time. In the same year it overtook the fixed network and its growth has carried on unabated with the second billion coming in a record 3 years.
The GSM family of technologies, which includes W-CDMA, reaches its own milestone of 1.5 billion subscribers, with 78% of the world market.
However, in many countries the cellular market is now maturing. There are several cases – such as Sweden, Italy, Austria, UK – where the market penetration is over 100% of the population. In these countries most of the interest is about people trading up to new phones and new network services, such as 3G.
The bulk of the new growth now is coming from large, less well-developed markets such as China, India, Eastern Europe, Latin America and Africa.
Overall the cellular industry is expecting to ship around 750 million new phones this year. The cellular market is forecast to continue to grow at a high rate, although slower than recent years. According to the independent analyst firm, Ovum, it will reach 3 billion subscribers by the end of 2010.