COSTA MESA, USA: The CDMA Development Group (CDG) announced that high-growth markets such as Africa, China and India are raising the number of CDMA subscribers worldwide closer to half a billion.
At the end of the first quarter of 2009, there were 480 million subscribers to the CDMA family of technologies worldwide, including 472 million 3G CDMA2000 and 120 million EV-DO broadband users.
During the quarter, China Telecom began offering EV-DO Revision A (Rev. A) services while expanding its CDMA2000 network in China, resulting in the addition of almost 5 million new customers. India continued its strong growth as the second-largest CDMA market, with operators in the country adding over 9 million new customers during the same period.
CDMA2000 continues to thrive in Africa, with nearly 50 CDMA2000 operators adding 3.5 million new users during the quarter. The growth from these emerging markets supplemented steady gains in North America, which in the same period, added 5.8 million subscribers.
"CDMA2000 is seeing rapid growth in those markets that have embraced 3G mobile broadband, as the migration to 3G CDMA accelerates worldwide," said Perry LaForge, executive director of the CDG. "Markets such as China and India are creating economies of scale that will further reduce handset prices, increase wireless penetration and contribute to bringing new 3G-enabled devices to market, such as netbooks and smartbooks."
CDMA2000 broadband service providers worldwide added over 23.5 million EV-DO users from March 2008 to March 2009, representing a 24 percent increase. CDMA2000 1xEV-DO is a leading mobile broadband technology worldwide, with 134 operators in 63 countries offering always-on CDMA2000 broadband data services to 120 million users.
Sixty-two of these operators have deployed CDMA2000 1xEV-DO Rev. A networks to offer advanced mobile broadband services, and another 37 operators are in the process of deploying Rev. A. Europe, the Middle East and Africa saw a notable increase of 4.5 million EV-DO subscribers over the past year, growing from 1.6 million to 6.1 million total subscribers, representing an annual growth rate of 277 percent.
The rapid uptake of EV-DO broadband services in Africa, rising from under 200,000 EV-DO users a year ago to 3.5 million current subscribers, highlights the pent-up demand for broadband wireless access.
Operators in the Americas and Asia also continued impressive gains with EV-DO, driven by a wider availability of mobile broadband-enabled devices and the increased usage of smartphones and feature phones.
North American (US and Canada) operators added 16 million new EV-DO subscribers over the past year at a 31 percent growth rate, while Latin America and Caribbean users increased by 41 percent to surpass 6 million and subscribers in Asia Pacific approached 40 million.
Overall, 17 million new CDMA2000 subscribers were added during the first quarter of 2009, contributing to the 38 million new users added between March 2008 and March 2009. Europe, Africa and the Middle East continue to be the most rapidly-growing regions for CDMA2000, adding 16 million CDMA2000 subscribers in the past year representing a 96 percent growth rate.
In the first quarter alone, operators in the region added more than 4.6 million customers and Africa, the fastest growing market, now comprises 5 percent of the global CDMA2000 market share. This is a strong testimonial to CDMA2000's ability to excel in emerging markets underserved by wireline telephony and broadband data services.
At quarter's end, Asia Pacific accounted for 52 percent of the global CDMA market, adding 13 million new CDMA2000 subscribers during the period. China Telecom ended the quarter with 33 million CDMA customers and has stated its goal to add 35 million CDMA2000 customers in 2009, supported by strong marketing efforts and a wide selection of handsets and devices for both CDMA2000 1X and 1xEV-DO services.
North America saw an addition of 16 million new CDMA2000 users over the year to reach 154 million subscribers. CDMA accounts for more than 52 percent of the US wireless market and India expects to double its CDMA2000 subscriber base within the next two years.