3G-4G to Account for 30 Percent of Global Wireless Subscriptions by 2013

By PRESS RELEASE — March 20, 2009

At the end of 2008, only 11% of worldwide wireless subscriptions were 3G. By the end of 2013, the percentage of 3G and 4G subscriptions will reach 30%, reports In-Stat . This trend is reflected in fourth quarter 2008 wireless infrastructure contract awards.

Looking forward, WiMAX will have to prove itself over the next couple of years with the rise of HSPA and LTE. In-Stat expects mobile WiMAX to be attractive in developing countries and remote locations in which fixed broadband networks are not yet deployed. It is still unknown whether or not mobile WiMAX will be competitive in locations with existing 3G cellular and fixed broadband networks.

"Based on contract awards, WiMAX deployments are remaining resilient in the face of the economic slowdown, although some operators are slowing the deployment rate," says Daryl Schoolar, In-Stat analyst. "The WiMAX equipment heavyweights of Alcatel-Lucent, Alvarion, Motorola and Samsung are benefitting from the trend. Other vendors to watch include Cisco, Huawei and ZTE."

Recent research by In-Stat includes:

  • 802.16e, the mobile standard for WiMAX, has been mainly deployed for fixed and nomadic services. Clearwire, Korea Telecom, and UQ of Japan are among a few notable exceptions that are embracing 802.16e for mobile data applications. 
  • There were 132 announced deployments in the fourth quarter of 2008, consisting of 95 HSPA, 18 WCDMA, 12 mobile WiMAX, six CDMA EV-DO, and one TD SCDMA. 
  • Based on the contract award activity over the past few quarters, In-Stat expects most of the deployments through new live networks to be WiMAX and HSPA. In-Stat has seen a significant slowdown in contracts for WCDMA and CDMA EV-DO equipment.
  • The research, "4Q08 3G/4G Deployment and Subscriptions Database" (#IN0904349GDS), covers the worldwide market for deployment and subscription data information for mobile WiMAX, HSPA, EV-DO, LTE and future 4G technologies. It includes: 
  • Five-year subscription forecasts for cellular and mobile WiMAX. A "subscription" refers to the highest level of the technology that a user's primary personal communication device supports. Users can have multiple subscriptions per device. 
  • Worldwide infrastructure deployments by technology and region from 2002 to the present. 
  • Worldwide contract awards by technology and region for 2007 and 2008.

The price for the report is $3,995.

In-Stat's market intelligence combines technical, market and end-user research and database models to analyze the Mobile Internet and Digital Entertainment ecosystems. Our insights are derived from a deep understanding of technology impacts, nearly 30 years of history in research and consulting, and direct relationships with leading players in each of our core markets. In-Stat provides its research through reports, annual subscriptions, consulting and advisory services to inform critical decisions.

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