LONDON Western Europe saw 4 million extra W-CDMA subscribers in the fourth quarter of last year, equivalent to 32.3 percent of the region's 12.4 million total net adds for the period, and giving the strongest indication yet that 3G is finally gaining momentum, according to just published figures from Informa Telecoms & Media.
Worldwide, there were about 8.4 million W-CDMA net adds in 4Q05, a run rate of 8.1 percent of global net adds. The market research group says Asia Pacific saw the most successful W-CDMA take-up in absolute terms, with 4.4 million net adds during the period, representing 11.1 percent of new subscriber adds.
"After years of hype, delays, scepticism and then disappointment, it is a welcome relief to say that W-CDMA has finally come of age," commented Gavin Patterson, Principal Analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media.
He adds preliminary figures indicate that at the end of last year, there were 44.42 million W-CDMA subscribers worldwide, an increase of 163.6 percent over the 16.85 million subs registered at the end of 2004.
The latest research from Informa also indicates that operators are this year looking to the advent of true, mobile broadband services with the introduction of HSDPA networks and handsets.
"Wi-Fi may have untethered the Internet, and helped to sell thousands of cups of coffee, but HSDPA/HSUPA will make the Internet a completely mobile experience," said Patterson.