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GSM to Hit One Billion Subscribers By End 2003


GSM to Hit One Billion Subscribers By Year End 2003

LONDON, Jan. 14 /PRNewswire-AsiaNet/ --

According to figures released today by the GSM Association* (Ref 1), the voice of the world's wireless industry, the GSM family of wireless communications continues to dominate the wireless world. It is estimated that at the end of 2002 there were 787 million GSM subscribers across 190 countries of the world.

The growth of GSM continues unabated with more than 160 million new customers in the last 12 months. Since 1997, the number of GSM subscribers has increased by a staggering 10 fold. During late 2003 or early 2004, it is predicted that global GSM subscribers will smash through the one billion mark.

Craig Ehrlich, Chairman of the GSMA's CEO Board commented: "The impact that GSM has made over the last decade cannot be understated. It has changed the world -- as signified by one in every 7 people on the planet that use GSM services today. Growth continues at a pace -- it now accounts for more than 72 per cent of the world's digital wireless market -- and we fully expect to achieve one billion customers around the turn of this year.

"With such massive momentum, it is easy to understand why eight out of ten of the world's digital wireless carriers, who have made their 3G technology choices, have selected and invested billions of dollars in the GSM family platforms of GPRS and W-CDMA as their next generation technologies of choice globally," added Ehrlich.

As further evidence of GSM's continuing advance and evolution, the GSMA confirmed today that there are more than 140 data enabled GPRS networks commercially deployed with a further 40 currently in construction. Customers are already beginning to enjoy advanced, feature rich data services, such as Mobile Multimedia Services (MMS) including picture messages and other leading edge wireless applications.

Rob Conway, CEO of the GSM Association said: "This consistent growth demonstrates that GSM continues to be the most successful open standards model in the wireless world and possibly the fastest growing technology ever."

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