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Asia-Pacific GSM Subscribers Pass 1 Billion Mark, 3G Tops 100 Million

Together GSM and W-CDMA customers in Asia Pacific made up 84.4% of the total number in the region at the end of June 2007, a proportion which has risen from 81.2% a year earlier. In terms of the proportion of the total for which they account, all other mobile network technologies employed in Asia Pacific have been in decline over the last year. The number of PDC connections declined by 13% between Q2 2006 and Q2 2007, leading to a decline in the importance of the proprietary Japanese technology from 4.3% to 1.9% of the regional total. Similarly, analogue customer numbers continued to fall, reaching 0.48m at the end of Q2 just 0.04% of the overall Asia Pacific base. CDMA customer numbers grew by 22.3% in the year, but this rate falls short of the 29.1% growth recorded at the continental level thereby leading to a decline in the contribution of the CDMA base from 14.43% to 13.68%. The decline has been much more severe this year, with 0.68pp of the 0.75pp annual decline coming in the first half of 2007. The magnitude of the decline is largely a result of the disconnections by Reliance in India in the first quarter, but other important factors cannot be ignored. In Korea, the CDMA base shrunk in size during the quarter for the first time ever, as well over 1 million new WCDMA connections were established. Meanwhile, in China, the CDMA growth rate continued to lag behind the rate of increase in the GSM customer base by 3.5% to 4.6% in Q2 2007. India was the only major CDMA market where growth in the technology matched the growth in GSM/W-CDMA. Things did not look so good in some of the smaller CDMA markets either. Most notably, in Australia the number of CDMA customers fell by 18% in the second quarter alone as Telstra continues to transition customers on to its W-CDMA network, which boasted over 2 million connections at the end of the period. Thanks to the rapid growth of W-CDMA customer bases in Australia, Indonesia, South Korea, Taiwan and elsewhere, more than one quarter of Asia Pacific's W-CDMA customers were located outside of Japan for the first time at the end of Q2 2007. The latest available figures show that 76.3% of Asia Pacific's W-CDMA customers were Japanese at the end of March, but that this proportion declined to 72.1% at the end of June. EV-DO enabled CDMA customers add more than 50% to the overall 3G total - another 34.7 million customers in absolute terms taking the 3G total in Asia Pacific to 100.04 million at the end of June. Here we exclude non-EV-DO CDMA2000 1x customers from the total; including this group leaves the 3G total at 209 million at the end of the second quarter, from 192 million at the end of the first.

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http://www.cellular-news.com/story/printer/26563.php[4/3/2011 9:07:01 PM]