Tag: worldwide

100 million new UMTS subscribers in past year

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3G Americas, a wireless industry trade association, is reporting that UMTS/HSPA technology has grown in a big way over the past year, adding over 100 million subscriptions in the twelve months ending in Q3 2008.

“As evidenced by the subscriber growth numbers, the GSM family of technologies continues to provide the four key ingredients for mobile wireless success: Coverage, Technology Performance, Devices and Applications,” stated Chris Pearson, President of 3G Americas. “The UMTS/HSPA mobile broadband technology achieved a total of 262 million subscriptions at the end of September 2008, continuing in its ranking as the leader in high speed mobile broadband technology worldwide.”

To date, there are 39 commercial UMTS/HSPA networks in the Americas region in 19 countries. Worldwide, there are more than 256 commercial UMTS/HSPA networks in over 100 countries. Without these networks, our BlackBerry Bolds Around the Word map (which is in sore need of an update) would be a lot less full.

|via CN|

Do you want to make a call on a plane?

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Snakes on a plane

Airlines Ryanair and Emirates have both recently announced that their passengers will soon be able to make mobile calls during flights. However, a recent poll by Wanderlust Magazine shows that the majority of travelers would rather fly with snakes. Polling over 1000 readers, 76% said they would never use a mobile phone in the air and only 2% said they would use their phone regularly. Dan Linstead, Editor of Wanderlust indicates that the negative response relates to both cost and sanity:

“The message from our readers, who are all seasoned travellers, is loud and clear. Planes are one of the last sacred mobile-free havens and they want it to stay that way – let’s hope the airlines start listening… The interruption is one thing but people also need to realise that mid-air chats won’t come cheap. Emirates say the average call costs more than £2 a minute, so someone’s making quite a bit of money out of it too.”

Now, obviously, I’m sure every reader of BlackBerry Cool would love to send and receive emails during flights. Making calls is another issue, however. Would you want the ability to make a call from you BlackBerry during a flight? Or would you rather make sure your fellow passengers can’t? Post a comment and let us know.

(via CN)

BlackBerry Bolds around the World (Part Two)

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blackberry bold worldwide launch map

Yesterday we published a map of all the countries that had launched the BlackBerry Bold — or so we thought. It turns out we missed a few (how could we forget the Swiss?). Thankfully, the BlackBerry Nation pitched in to dot our i’s and cross our t’s. It’s really great to see that we have a readership that spans the globe. Here’s the updated list:

North America Canada, Mexico
South America Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Venezuela
Europe Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Romania, Portugal, Serbia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales)
Asia Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore
Australia Australia
Caribbean Dominican Republic, Jamaica

The grand total is now up to 31 countries! I wonder if the U.S. is waiting to be the 50th country because they think they’ll win a prize…

BlackBerry Bolds around the World

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blackberry bold worldwide launch map

It seems like every day brings with it a new BlackBerry Bold launch announcement, with today being no exception. To get a handle on just how international the BlackBerry Bold has become, the BBCool Crew set to work on building a map representing every country that has launched or will soon launch the BlackBerry Bold. Here’s the rundown of countries, to our best efforts:

North America Canada, Mexico
South America Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Venezuela
Europe Austria, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Romania, Serbia, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales)
Asia Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore
Australia Australia
Caribbean Dominican Republic, Jamaica

Please forgive us if we’ve forgotten/missed any, but it looks like 25 countries in all. Africa, Asia and the United States (zing!) are the least represented on the map. Thanks for the help, Nan!

GSA says UMTS900 provides better and cheaper 3G coverage

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osciloscope

The average BlackBerry user likely doesn’t think much about technology behind the networks that provide their daily communication fix, but it plays an important role in both the cost and coverage of their BlackBerry. The Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) has published an operator case study on Finland’s Elisa network which it says shows significant cost and coverage benefits of deploying 3G services in the 900 MHz spectrum band.

According to Dr. Eetu Prieur, Head of Access Networks for Elisa, “3G coverage with UMTS900 can save 50 to 70% of our mobile network costs versus UMTS2100. And that includes both CAPEX and OPEX.”

While the majority of 3G/HSPA networks operate in the 2100 MHz band, lower frequencies provide a much larger coverage area when compared to 2100 MHz. In Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific, carriers use the 900 Mhz band, which cuts the number of cell sites needed to cover rural and suburban areas in half, providing major CAPEX and OPEX savings for 3G deployments. In North America, we rely upon the 850 MHz band, which provides the same coverage and savings benefits.

So what does this all mean? The next time you’re in a rural area reading BBCool on your BlackBerry with 3G coverage, thank low frequency bands like 850/900. Of course, because of the lack of international standardization, if you have a North American Bold, good luck getting the same coverage in, say, rural France (the Charente region is lovely this time of year). Oh well.

Download the GSA 3G report

(via CN)