3G and WiMAX attract the most attention, but it is GSM that is driving industry growth according to a recent report. See also GSM Goes Wild. “During 2004 alone, Ericsson shipped GSM transceivers corresponding to 40 percent of the total volume delivered since the introduction of GSM. 2005 is expected to present yet another record.”
The GSM customer base throughout the Americas region has more than doubled from 65.9 million in Q1 2004 to more than 136.3 million as of Q1 2005.
During the first three months of 2005, there were 87.74 million new customers globally. GSM accounted for 79.93 million or 91% of these new subscribers.
In the North American region, the main growth in terms of number of net additions during Q1 2005 has been in GSM, with nearly 7 million subscribers. The 7 million net additions during this quarter were 30% higher than the same period in 2004 whereas the number of CDMA additions fell slightly.
For more information, see http://www.3gamericas.org/English/Statistics/
According to Ericsson, new mobile subscription growth between 2005 and 2010 breaks down as follows:
The number of new GSM sites being rolled out is staggereing. The high installation and opex (operating expenditure) inhibit deployment of both 2G and 3G systems, directly affecting operating profits (See Unstrung Insider report, Open Base Station Bonanza). Here is a cost breakdown from a PowerWave analysis for April 2005 with the total deployment cost per base station around $100,000.