A new survey by the GSA states that there has been a 40% growth in EDGE networks during the past year. There are now 287 mobile network operators in 142 countries deploying EDGE networks, as compared to 204 networks at this time in 2006. EDGE stands for Enhanced Data rates for Global Evolution, and is essentially a 2.75G network or GPRS+, allowing operators to handle 3 times more subscribers than with GPRS.
Alan Hadden, President, GSA said: “This new GSA survey underlines the success of GSM/EDGE globally. The winning combination of EDGE and 3G/WCDMA-HSPA networks is a key point, which is important for newly-emerging 3G markets in Africa, China, India, Latin America, and Russia where GSM/EDGE is widely deployed.”
Commercial EDGE-enabled services are now available in 113 countries in the Americas (59 networks), Asia Pacific (31 networks), Europe (97 networks) and the Middle East and Africa (36 networks). The GSA survey also shows, however, that 116 WCDMA operators have deployed, or are currently deploying, combined WCDMA-EDGE networks, with 80 WCDMA-EDGE networks in commercial service. The growing trend is for products supporting a combination of tri-band WCDMA/HSDPA (850/1900/2100 MHz) and quad band GSM/EDGE (850/900/1800/1900 MHz).
Looks like EDGE won’t be disappearing any time soon with the advent of faster networks.