According to the Taiwan based Market Intelligence Center, the number of global mobile phone subscribers is expected to grow from two billion in 2005 to approximately 3.3 billion in 2010, representing a CAGR (Compound Average Growth Rate) of 10.1%. Such growth will come mainly from Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. The Middle East is expected to chalk up the highest growth rate, followed by, in descending order, Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America, North America, and Western Europe.
With analog and TDMA systems in North America and Latin America being gradually upgraded to GSM and with GSMA’s promotion of the EMH (Emerging Market Handset) program in markets with low penetration rates, GSM handsets and network equipment will be able to achieve economies of scale. This will lead to significant cost reductions and prompting more emerging markets to embrace the GSM system.
As a result, by 2010 the global share of GSM subscribers, including those of WCDMA, GPRS, EDGE is expected to climb to 85%, up from 80% now. Meanwhile, share of CDMA subscribers, including those of cdmaOne, cdma 2000 1X, CDMA2000 1xEV-Do (Evolution Data Only), will drop to 15%.
The share of 3G subscribers is projected to break the 10% mark for the first time in 2007, reaching 296 million.