It should really come as no surprise to hear that the mobile phone business is booming. WCDMA is quickly catching in popularity for its high-speed data and multimedia capabilities, and according to ABI Research, 2006 is looking like “The Year of the 3G Phone”. The expansion of 3G services is expected to increase substantially this year, continuing the trend from last year when the WCDMA subscriptions increased by 142% compared to 2004. By 2010, 1 billion 3G subscribers are expected.
By the end of last year, there was one cellular subscriber in every three people in the world; 2.14 billion to be exact. That figure is expected to exceed 3 billion by the end the 2008, but industry pundits are suggesting that the growth could be even faster than that. Particular attention is being paid to the emerging markets in India, China and Africa where, as a result of a number of infrastructure initiatives, the cost of mobile phone calls is predicted to drop 20% by 2008.
Jake Saunders, Director of Global Forecasting at ABI Research, sees two sides to the picture: “There are still definitely opportunities to be exploited in the mobile cellular market-place but there are also a number of new and old uncertainties.”