The mobile market in the Caribbean & Latin America further polarised towards GSM technology in Q2 2008, as the total number of customers using the technology and its 3G derivative W-CDMA increased by 6.9% to almost 360m. At the end of June 2008, the GSM/W-CDMA base made up 86.3% of the regional total, up from 84.6% three months earlier.
Most of the ground was given up by the CDMA base, which decreased in size by more than 5% in the quarter to under 48m.
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Connection growth since Q2 06 by technology
However, the AMPS/TDMA base also continued to contract, ending the period 27% down at just 5.4m, or 1.3% of the total. Rounding off the picture, the iDEN customer base grew most quickly of all in the quarter, by 7.2%, slightly increasing its share of the regional total from 0.92% to 0.94%.
Similar patterns were seen over the annual period to 30th June 2008, but obviously to a much more dramatic extent. The GSM/W-CDMA base increased in size by 40.4% over this time – well in excess of the 23.1% regional average – taking more than 10pp of market share from CDMA, TDMA and AMPS. The CDMA base saw a decline of 21.6% over the 12 month period, taking its total from 61m down to 47.8m. The figure of 2.6m connections lost in Q2 08 compares well with the average of over 3.5m lost in the previous three quarters, although there is no denying the serious and continued decline. As for the region’s remaining AMPS/TDMA networks, their ranks were depleted by more than 70% over the year, at which rate remaining numbers will be negligible by this time in 2009.
The last 12 months have seen the advent of W-CDMA-based 3G networks across Latin America, with services now commercial in 12 markets in the region. Launches took place in three new markets in the quarter, including Brazil, where numbers were already almost 1m at the end of August after just three months. As far as Q2 is concerned, total customer numbers increased by 67.5% to almost 1.25m (the majority at this time coming from Mexico) which represents an annual improvement of over 1000%.
The introduction of W-CDMA has added to the effect of the continued rise of GSM and slowed the increase in numbers of 3G CDMA EV-DO connections considerably, the base levelling out at around 2.8m across the region.
Source: Cellular News.