HomeNewsGSA survey said to confirm more than 500 EDGE networks worldwide

    GSA survey said to confirm more than 500 EDGE networks worldwide


    A new survey by the Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) published today is said to confirm the continuing globalization of GSM/EDGE systems. The key findings are contained in the updated EDGE Fact Sheet, and shows that 503 operators have committed to EDGE network deployments in 195 countries. The number of operators committed to EDGE has increased by more than 14% over the past year, says the GSA.

    The EDGE Fact Sheet also confirms that 487 EDGE networks are now commercially launched in 190 countries. Operators in all regions have made significant investments to enhance the capacity and coverage of existing networks, often extending EDGE capabilities to their full GSM coverage area.

    GSM/EDGE, a software enhancement to GPRS networks, is a mainstream mature and global technology which is supported by a well developed ecosystem. The first commercial EDGE network was launched in June 2003. GSA estimates that over 80% of GPRS operators have since committed to the EDGE enhancement, delivering significant data traffic and revenue growth.

    In markets where 3G/WCDMA-HSPA networks are available, EDGE is also typically deployed for service continuity and the best user experience of mobile broadband services. According to GSA research, two-thirds of HSPA network operators have also deployed EDGE. In other markets where 3G spectrum has not yet been granted, EDGE is providing efficient and fast mobile Internet connectivity, which in many cases is the only means where fixed connections are not available. 

    There are several thousand EDGE-capable user devices available on the market, extending to all but the lowest cost segments, says the GSA. Recent mobile broadband WCDMA-HSPA user devices usually also combine support for quad band GSM/EDGE (850/900/1800/1900). Over 83% of WCDMA-HSPA user devices, covering all market segments and device types, also support EDGE.

    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, says the GSA.