Global standard captures 80% of digital mobile market in 2003
UK, 26thJanuary 2004: GSM is on target to
achieve an historic milestone during the first quarter of 2004.
With more than 970 million users at the end of December and an
average of 15 million new users a month throughout 2003, the GSM
Association, the global trade association representing GSM
operators worldwide, confidently expects the billionth GSM user
to be connected during the first quarter. The approach of the
milestone will be a major theme at the 3GSM World Congress, the
annual gathering of the global GSM community, taking place in
Cannes, France, between 23 and 26 February 2004.
During 2003, more than 180 million new users joined the global
GSM community representing 80% of the 227 million new digital
mobile phone users connected worldwide.
Rob Conway, Chief Executive of the GSM Association and Member of
its Board said, “By taking 80% of growth in 2003, GSM
outperformed the market and reinforced its position as the
global standard for mobile communications.”
For the second year running, GSM added as many new customers
during the year as the second most successful mobile technology
(CDMA) had in total at the year-end.
In absolute terms, members of the Association’s Asia Pacific
regional interest group drove GSM’s growth during the year
adding more than 70 million new users. China maintained its
position as the world’s largest mobile market: China’s two
GSM operators added 42.8 million – 21% more than the year’s
global growth for CDMA.
Europe contributed 42 million new users, with strong growth
recorded in central and eastern Europe. The GSM Association’s
Russian members added 16 million users while both India and
North America each added more than 10 million new users. Growth
in both Africa and the Arab World exceeded 9 million.
The extent to which the migration of Latin American TDMA and
CDMA operators to the global GSM standard is gaining momentum is
vividly illustrated by the fact that this region recorded growth
of more than 130 per cent to finish the year with 16.5 million
users. Russia and India both recorded annual growth of around
“With a user base approaching one billion, solid foundations
are in place for the successful migration to 3GSM. As we entered
2004, 25 operators were already delivering 3GSM services to
customers in 17 countries. Improvements in the supply of
dual-mode handsets capable of delivering seamless
inter-operability between GSM and 3GSM will provide the catalyst
for the launch of at least another 40 3GSM services in the year
ahead,” concludes Conway.
Database and GSM
Association All customer numbers expressed in millions