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Global mobile broadband subscribers hit 50 million, says GSMA

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The GSMA, the global trade group for the mobile industry, has announced that the number of worldwide subscribers using Mobile Broadband (HSPA) networks has topped the 50 million mark from 11 million one year ago. Global uptake of HSPA technology among consumers and businesses is accelerating, indicating continued traffic growth for high-speed mobile networks worldwide. Wireless Intelligence expects the number of HSPA connections to be growing by 4 million per month by the end of 2008.

The number of operators with commercial HSPA networks has reached 191 and there are now over 740 HSPA-enabled devices (including mobiles, dongles and notebooks) available from 116 manufacturers.

"These figures highlight the global success of Mobile Broadband and the fact that we are continuing to see greater and greater economies of scale," said Rob Conway, CEO and Member of the Board of the GSMA. "This is driving down the cost of devices and equipment and enabling more and more users across the world to enjoy easy access to media-rich services anywhere at anytime."

High-speed mobile access opens up a wide range of services for consumers, including interactive gaming, music and video streaming and the easy sharing of pictures and entertainment. Businesses can use fast Mobile Broadband to rollout advanced solutions for flexible working and to enable field workers to have quick and easy access to the company's information systems.

The most widely-deployed peak data speeds over HSPA are currently between 3.6Mbps and 7.2Mbps. This translates to an end user speed of more than 1Mbps, comparable to many of today's fixed line broadband services.