Today there are 138 mobile networks operating on the third generation HSDPA technology. Another 41 networks are under development with the same characteristics, representing a growth of 54 percent compared to the same period last year, when between commercially launched and under development networks, 120 operations could be counted.
The figures revealed by the Global Mobile Suppliers Association further state that HSDPA has already reached commercially 66 countries, a number that will soon increase to 81, when the networks currently under development go into commercial operation.
Europe is in the lead with 37 countries with HSDPA networks already in place, of which 26 out of 27 EU countries. The Asia / Pacific region is in second place with 12 countries and the Middle East and Africa region in third place with HSDPA networks in 9 countries.
HSDPA networks are an update to third generation UMTS networks that started by offering a data transmission speed of less than 500 Kbps. Like this upgrade, which in Portugal happened in the beginning of 2006, the speed has been progressively increased to 1.8 Mbps, 3.6 Mbps and 7.2 Mbps. Along with Portugal, another 65 HSDPA networks today offer speeds equal to or greater than 3.6 Mbps.
Most HSDPA networks also provide GSM or EDGE services. According to figures from the GSA, 58 percent of networks maintain this duplicity, which means that 850 million subscribers are served by networks with both technologies.
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