GSA Confirms New Record for GSM as 100 Million Subscribers Added in Q3 2005

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GSM averaged over 1 million net additions every day throughout the whole of 2005. This world-beating performance pushed the number of GSM subscribers to over 1.56 billion by end September 2005.

GSM added over 100 million new subscribers in only 3 months - a new record for the mobile industry. It means that GSM averaged over 1 million net additions every day throughout the whole of 2005, and this figure is accelerating. This world-beating performance pushed the number of GSM subscribers to over 1.56 billion by end September 2005.

The continuing success of GSM worldwide is reported in GSM/3G Network Update – November 2005, published today by GSA – the Global mobile Suppliers Association.

GSM/3G Network Update also highlights that:

  • Growth of GSM subscribers in 2005 achieved 276.8 million, exceeding in 9 months the CDMA all-time global subscribers figure of 273.5 million
  • More than three quarters of 2.02 billion global mobile subscriptions (all technologies) use GSM
  • GSM accounts for over 77.2% (end 2004 = 74.7%) of the world’s cellular market and over 90.8% of Q3 2005 additions

Drivers for new subscriber growth are the emerging markets – Africa, India, Latin America and Asia, where GSM continues to lead the way.

The Latin America and the Caribbean region is the latest to join the “100 million GSM Subscribers Club” having added 14 million GSM subscribers in the last quarter. In North America, GSM outsold all other technologies, gaining over 80% market share of net additions in the same period. GSM now has 34.5% market share (28.7% at end 2004)

Asia provides many examples of strong subscriber growth including Pakistan with annual growth to September 2005 of 194%, Bangladesh (145%), and Indonesia (45%). GSM consistently earns around 80% market share in India, and in October 2005 achieved record growth of over 2.11 million subscriber additions (source: COAI).

Africa passed the 100 million subscribers milestone in June 2005. GSM enjoys 99.6% market share and by end September 2005, the number of GSM subscribers surged to 116.8 million.

GSM/3G Network Update also reports on the global evolution to 3G with GSM/EDGE, WCDMA and HSPA. Quoting GSA’s latest survey results:

  • 91 WCDMA networks have entered commercial service; an increase of 31 during 2005. A further 6 networks are at the pre-commercial stage. This means that two-thirds of the global total of 146 WCDMA license holders have launched 3G services, or are very near to doing so
  • The number of WCDMA subscribers reached 34.8 million at end September 2005, an increase of 106.6% this year
  • 226 models of WCDMA devices are in the market, with 60 models coming in the last 6 months (over 36% increase). This figure includes 12 devices which support HSDPA
  • 121 out of 172 GSM/EDGE network deployments have entered commercial service in 70 countries
  • 57 operators are operating or deploying combined EDGE-WCDMA networks
  • 174 models of GSM/EDGE devices, an increase of 52% in 6 months, are in the market. This includes 25 devices which support EDGE and WCDMA.

GSM/3G Network Update – November 2005 also highlights the reality of the wireless broadband following widespread adoption and commitment to HSDPA – the first evolution of WCDMA. According to another GSA survey, at least 50 WCDMA operators worldwide have confirmed their interest in deploying HSDPA. Using HSDPA, users will experience better Internet and intranet access with laptops, and for large file downloads. The first commercial services using HSDPA were launched in October 2005

GSM/3G Network Update – November 2005 is published by GSA and available now at

Notes to Editors

The status of EDGE/WCDMA/HSDPA network deployments, devices launched and their availability are researched and published by GSA

© Global mobile Suppliers Association

GSM/3G Statistics – including charts for media use at
© Global mobile Suppliers Association

GSM and WCDMA subscribers data provided by Informa Telecoms & Media ( with analysis by GSA

About GSA

GSA represents leading GSM/3G suppliers world-wide, with over 80% of GSM/3G market share globally. The member companies of GSA include Aeroflex, Agere, Alcatel, Attix5, Bechtel Telecoms, Broadcom, Business Logic Systems, CCww, Comsys, Ericsson, EVI Technology, Longreach, Lucent Technologies, NewBay Software, Nokia, Openwave, Panasonic, Philips Semiconductors, Radixs, Siemens, Tekelec, Telcordia, Tropian, TTPCom, and Wavecom, representing solutions providers, GSM, EDGE, WCDMA and HSPA infrastructure, user devices, OSS, applications developers, billing, revenue assurance, and semiconductor software design/platforms.

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