GSM Reaches One Billion Subscribers

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The GSM Association has announced that the number of subscribers to GSM wireless networks has surpassed the one billion mark. The number of people using GSM mobile phones is roughly equivalent to one-sixth of the entire world population.

Even though the wireless standard is only twelve years old, it is found in more than 200 countries and is the choice of approximately 80 percent of new wireless customers.

“As recently as the turn of the year, we thought we would hit the billion landmark sometime in March — but GSM has not lost its capacity to surprise and delight. Operator connections are running faster than anticipated and we actually passed the milestone earlier this month,” said Rob Conway, CEO of the GSM Association.

GSM Growing Rapidly in the Americas

In the Americas, 90 percent of new customers choose GSM services. 3G Americas, an industry trade group, credits the rapid deployment of GSM/GPRS on a nationwide basis in the U.S. and Canada to GSM’s 77 percent growth in the North American market in 2003.

Last year, more than fifty new GSM networks were launched in the Americas, and several TDMA and CDMA carriers began migrating to GSM.

More information, including charts analyzing the growth of GSM in the Western Hemisphere, visit the 3G Americas web site.

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