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Cell subscribers to hit 1.7 billion by 2005

Worldwide cellular subscribers are slated to grow at a 23 per cent rate over the next few years, according to a recent report on the worldwide cellular infrastructure from consultancy firm Forward Con...


November 1, 2000  


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Worldwide cellular subscribers are slated to grow at a 23 per cent rate over the next few years, according to a recent report on the worldwide cellular infrastructure from consultancy firm Forward Concepts, Tempe, AZ.

The report, Wireless Infrastructure Technology & Markets: Evolution to 2.5G & 3G, looks at the market dynamics and the technology changes as cellular evolves from circuit-switched digital second-generation (2G) through packet-based 2.5G to multimedia-centric third-generation (3G) deployment.

The report forecasts that worldwide cellular subscribers will grow from 611 million in 2000 to 1.7 billion subscribers in 2005. Yet it points out that fueled by competition among cellular service providers, infrastructure capacity demand will grow at a 45 per cent compound rate as a result of increasing air time and greater bandwidth use by wireless subscribers.

The worldwide capital investment in base station and mobile switching system electronic equipment is expected to grow by 16 per cent, from US$58 billion in 2000 to US$122 billion in 2005. The report anticipates that China will be the biggest market for base station and switch investment by 2004.

The report predicts early 3G deployments will begin with Japan and perhaps Korea, China and parts of Europe. Wireless Internet deployment, beginning with the wireless application protocol (WAP), will likely be regionally motivated, with the greatest opportunities in countries with lesser wireline Internet penetration.

The report tags Ericsson as the leading vendor of cellular infrastructure equipment in 1999, with an estimated 27 per cent of the market, followed by Lucent and Nokia, each with a 14 per cent market share. Motorola and Nortel are close behind, each with a 12 per cent market share. Other significant infrastructure vendors include NEC, Siemens, Alcatel and Fujitsu.

Details of the report are available on the company’s website at www.forwardconcepts.com.


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