Friday 27 July 2007

HSPA in Latin America

In the past few weeks, operators Personal and Movistar in Argentina, Movistar in Mexico as well as Movistar and Ancel in Uruguay have all launched UMTS/HSDPA commercial service in their respective markets in Latin America. In addition to the operators listed above, in the past seven months, UMTS/HSDPA has been launched by AT&T in Puerto Rico and Entel PCS in Chile, making a total of seven operators that offer UMTS/HSDPA in Latin America and the Caribbean.
The number of operator deployments of HSDPA has increased by 200% in the last year, from 42 HSDPA networks to 130 commercial HSDPA networks today in 61 countries. Today, there are 177 total deployments of UMTS technology in 74 countries and nearly 300 commercial HSDPA devices available worldwide. Informa Telecoms & Media estimates that there will be 190 million UMTS or HSDPA customers worldwide by the end of 2007.
Latin America has become one of the worlds’ fastest-growing regions for GSM wireless service, as many operators have migrated their networks from other technologies (such as CDMA and TDMA) to the GSM evolution to take advantage of the tremendous scope and scale, as well as technology benefits, offered by EDGE, UMTS and HSDPA. There are an estimated 255 million GSM subscribers in Latin America and the Caribbean as of June 30, 2007, representing a 75% share of market. In addition, many operators in the region have deployed EDGE high speed wireless data services; in fact, there are 38 commercial EDGE networks in 21 countries today.

Erasmo Rojas, Director of Latin America and the Caribbean for 3G Americas commented, “EDGE delivers an excellent customer experience for wireless data, serving as a foundation for customer uptake of wireless data services and increasing revenues for all GSM operators. The next move is to UMTS/HSDPA mobile broadband. We expect many more launches of HSDPA in 2007 and 2008 throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.”

As GSM customers push for speed and applications to satisfy their demands for services such as web browsing, email, mobile payments, interactive gaming and video sharing, UMTS/HSDPA provides the solution with average downlink throughput data rates over 1 Mbps in favorable conditions and latency measuring at 70-100 milliseconds. +

Many more operators throughout Latin America and the Caribbean are planning their move to mobile broadband with HSDPA. Rojas continued, “However, some carriers need additional spectrum allocations before UMTS/HSDPA networks can be launched.”

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