A new survey by the Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) published recently confirms the increased penetration of GSM/EDGE systems.Operators in a large number of regions have made significant investments to enhance the capacity and coverage of their existing networks.The common trend has been to extend EDGE capabilities to the full GSM coverage areas.After the first commercial EDGE network deployment in June 2003, GSA estimates that over 80% of GPRS operators have committed to the EDGE enhancement.EDGE network capabilities are evolving as part of the 3GPP specifications. Commercial EDGE Evolution solutions are now available which increase EDGE network downlink and uplink data speeds and reduce latency, extending mobile broadband availability cost-effectively.
On the wireless broadband front the UMTS Forum confirms that subscriptions to 3G/UMTS networks have reached 500 million. The milestone has been achieved in just eight years after the world’s first commercial 3G/WCDMA network was deployed by Japanese operator NTT DOCOMO. According to data from wireless Intelligence (http://www.wirelessintelligence.com), there are now over 300 UMTS family networks worldwide.The total includes almost 40% of 3G/UMTS subscribers who are enjoying an enhanced mobile broadband experience via HSPA networks. Over 35 HSPA+ networks are now commercialized, boosting theoretical peak data rates as high as 28 Mb/sec.It is amazing to note that it took fixed telephone networks over a century to reach their first half billion customers. GSM networks have achieved the same milestone in only a decade!. This clearly is a reflection of the modern world's ever-growing need to stay connected. WCDMA and now HSPA are delivering the same services at a cost that made GSM a global success. Building on the success of the WCDMA/HSPA systems, LTE is expected to offer end-users an even faster, more satisfying mobile Internet experience, while attracting a new wave of players from new frontiers.