Superfast mobile 3G networks boom: UN telecoms agency

Sep 22, 2010
Office workers in Bangkok use their mobile phones during a break. Superfast third generation (3G) mobile phone networks have expanded nearly tenfold in four years, outstripping fixed line broadband, the International Telecommunications Union has said.

Superfast third generation (3G) mobile phone networks have expanded nearly tenfold in four years, outstripping fixed line broadband, the UN's telecoms agency said on Wednesday.

The International Telecommunications Union predicted that 3G -- which allows users to watch TV and access the Internet from their phones -- would exceed 900 million subscriptions worldwide by the end of this year as the pace of expansion continued to accelerate.

At the beginning of 2010, 3G capacity could accomodate 667 million subscriptions worldwide, compared to 73 million four years earlier, the ITU said in a statistics survey.

"While these aren't all necessarily active subscriptions, the growing number highlights the vast potential wireless technologies hold," it added.

"ITU has set a clear target by recommending that at least half the world's people have access to broadband by 2015."

Over the same period, global fixed line broadband subscriptions rose from 216 million to 479 million.

Third generation now accounts for 14 percent of all mobile telecoms subscriptions compared to three percent in 2006.

But poor nations appear to be left out, as penetration rates for fixed or remain very low in developing countries, just above three percent of inhabitants, according to the ITU.

The fixed broadband figure is barely higher than the agency's estimate three years ago.

"Tremendous achievements have been made over the past five years in bringing broadband access to millions of people around the world -- but much more needs to be done," the ITU said.

Explore further: Studying the speed of multi-hop Bluetooth networks

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

UN: new group helps promote broadband

May 10, 2010

(AP) -- The International Telecommunication Union has set up a group headed by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim and Rwandan President Paul Kagame to help more countries get access to broadband connections.

Mobile broadband use to leap by 2015: Ericsson

May 05, 2010

The number of people using mobile broadband to access the Internet is expected to soar from around 400 million today to some 3.5 billion by 2015, Swedish telecommunications equipment giant Ericsson said on ...

Ericsson strong on broadband, mobiles

May 10, 2006

Strong demand for broadband worldwide and for mobile phones in developing countries is keeping the telecom industry strong, the head of Ericsson said.

Five billion people to use mobile phones in 2010: UN

Feb 15, 2010

The ranks of cell phone subscribers will swell to five billion people this year thanks to the growth of smartphones in developed nations and mobile services in poor nations, a UN agency said Monday.

Recommended for you

End to end 5G for super, superfast mobile

Nov 24, 2014

A collaboration between NEC Electronics Samsung and several academic centres in China and Iran, is investigating how software-defined cellular networking might be used to give smart phone users the next generation of super-superfast ...

German study supports free "Super WiFi"

Nov 24, 2014

The need for the wireless transfer of data will increase significantly in the coming years. Scientists at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) therefore propose to turn some of the TV frequencies that ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.