With more than forty operators already delivering advanced mobile services to customers in 22 countries and territories across Asia, the Middle East and Europe, 3GSM is asserting itself as the global 3G standard.
Delivering a wealth of innovative new services to consumers such as video on demand, high-speed multimedia and mobile Internet access, 3GSM exploits the potential of content rich information and communication around the world.
3GSM also brings substantially enhanced capacity, quality and speed of data transmission. Incorporating a radio interface based on Wideband-CDMA, 3GSM is the 3G-upgrade for GSM, developed jointly by standards bodies from China, Korea, Japan, the United States and the European Union.
3GSM is the technology choice of 98 percent of operators who have been granted spectrum in the 2GHz band identified by the International Telecommunications Union for 3G. As 3GSM rolls out across the world, customers in Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Australia are already enjoying its many benefits, with launches to follow in Singapore, Malaysia and Taiwan this year. In addition, Indonesia and New Zealand are moving toward launch.
All 70 networks that will be delivering 3GSM services by the year-end are utilizing the 2GHz band in which China intends to deploy 3G, said Rob Conway, CEO of the GSM Association and a member of its Board. Only one operator anywhere in the world has so far deployed an alternative 3G technology in this band. This global commitment is fundamental and demonstrates where economies of scale in the 3G market will be found.
Growth is expected to accelerate from the current 3GSM global customer base of more than five million, as the number of commercial networks increases to at least 70 by the year-end and handset launches by all the worlds leading manufacturers eliminate supply issues.
The greater availability of 3GSM handsets in Chinas 3G trials programme is a further reflection of 3GSMs superior maturity in the 2GHz 3G spectrum available in China, said Conway.
Craig Ehrlich, GSMA Chairman and board member of Hutchison Mobile, said: The opportunities for China with 3GSM are immense. Operators benefit from international roaming and economies of scale; manufacturers gain equal access to global markets; IT, software, application developers and content players are not locked out as in other systems, and ultimately consumers enjoy value from a greater variety of globally compatible products and services. These benefits can only be delivered by an open system and a non-proprietary philosophy.
The impact of GSM in China has been profound, added Ehrlich. It has been the primary driver of mobile penetration and has propelled China Mobile to the status of the worlds largest mobile operator and China Unicom to the number three position. China Unicoms GSM customer growth in 2003 exceeded that of its CDMA network. Also during 2003, Chinas GSM users made a staggering 585.4 billion minutes of voice calls and sent 131.2 billion text messages. GSM accounted for 93% of Chinese mobile revenues.
China alone has more GSM users than the global customer base of the next most widely used mobile technology – CDMA. China Unicoms GSM customers base is bigger than the combined customer bases of the worlds three largest CDMA operators Verizon Wireless, China Unicom & SKT.
GSM is unique among mobile technologies in having a clearly-defined user benefit international roaming at the heart of its design, said Rob Conway.Roaming creates a discipline amongst operators and their suppliers to comply with open standards, promoting inter-operability and creating economies of scale that benefit end-users. 3GSM builds on this heritage.
3GSM is changing the mobile world. Users in Japan and Korea will benefit from improved roaming services as their deployment of 3GSM brings them into the GSM community. There will also be wider economic benefits as their manufacturers will gain greater exposure to the global GSM/3GSM market, concluded Rob Conway.
As we look toward the Beijing Olympics of 2008, the opportunity for China to serve a worldwide audience, and many millions of inbound visitors with compelling next generation mobile services has never been so apparent, concluded Craig Ehrlich.
Source: GSM Association
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