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 Friday, April 18, 2008

Third generation connection numbers in Europe grew by a record 11.2m in Q4 2007 to reach 81.5m by the end of the 2007 - an 81% improvement year on year. New W-CDMA connections accounted for 45% of net connection growth in the final quarter, which was the lowest proportion for the year, after 46.9% in Q1, 56.5% in Q2 and 46.8% in Q3.

Given the extent to which the fourth quarter Christmas boom is driven by the lower-cost and prepaid market, however, this is not a surprising result. It was GSM, of course, which was dominant in terms of net additions, with 13.8m in Q4 2007, giving it a total of 39.3m for the full year, against 36.5m for its 3G derivative.

Nevertheless, proportionately speaking the growth in the GSM base only amounted to 6.5% for the year, which led to a strengthening of the contribution of the 3G base to the total. At the end of 2006, W-CDMA customers accounted for 6.9% of all European mobile connections; at the end of 2007, the proportion of the total made up of 3G enabled connections had risen to 11.2% - with 1.2pp of the increase (the highest ever) coming in the fourth quarter.

Europe: % Customers W-CDMA, Q4 02 - Q4 07 

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Source: Cellular News.

3G | Europe