Global 3G connections reach 1B, says industry group

Staff writer
Global connections to the 3GPP family of 3G /IMT-2000 mobile networks now exceed one billion, an industry group said.
The UMTS Forum  also said representing almost a fifth of all mobile connections worldwide, the one billion total spans customers of W-CDMA, HPSA/HSPA+ and LTE networks.
Around 50 million subscriptions are under TD-SCDMA networks, the China-developed 3G system that’s also standardized in 3GPP, the group said.
Global 3G connections are boosted by a further 225 million cdma2000 1xEV-DO subscribers, mainly in Asia and North America. Standardized separately from 3GPP, 1xEV-DO is the “sibling” cellular technology recognized by the ITU as part of the IMT-2000 family of 3G systems.
Of almost 400 3GPP-family 3G networks worldwide, the vast majority (over 385) have now implemented HSPA that gives data speeds in the 2-14 Mbps range. Furthermore, around 140 network operators are using HSPA+ technology to deliver even higher peak theoretical speeds of up to 42 Mbps for their customers.
After the first LTE networks launched commercially in December 2009, commercial LTE deployments now number almost 50 networks, with over 150 operators committed to launch the technology, the UMTS said.
Taking the end of 2009 as “Year Zero” for commercial LTE deployments, there are fast approaching 10 million subscriptions to LTE networks.