Friday, June 23, 2006

InformaTelcoms & Media: Two Billion GSM Customers Worldwide

According to Informa Telecoms & Media,"the milestone of two billion subscribers worldwide will be achieved by the end of June for the GSM family of technologies. A wireless customer in one of more than 200 countries served by GSM will activate their wireless device and become an immediate communications industry 'milestone' - the world's two billionth GSM customer. Globally, there are 2.29 billion cellular users encompassing all technologies, placing GSM as the dominant market leader."

The firm said "Latin America and the Caribbean led the world market percentage growth rate for GSM, adding more than 74 million new customers in the one year period from March 2005 to March 2006 - nearly doubling their subscriber base with a growth rate of 97%. The Middle East followed by Africa are the world regions with the next largest growth rates, respectively. However, China continues to be the largest single market of GSM customers, with 662.6 million as of March 2006."

Devine Kofiloto at Informa Telecoms & Media said, "It took approximately twelve years to reach the first one billion GSM subscriptions, back in 2004, but only two and a half years to hit the next billion GSM/UMTS subscriptions."

Informa projected that "the three billion customer milestone for GSM/GPRS/EDGE/UMTS will occur in 2010, with an expected 700 million of these subscribers using UMTS services."