The number of 3G devices in production is soaring, according to research by the Global Mobile Suppliers Association.
A total of 272 Wide-band Code-Division Multiple Access (WCDMA) handsets and PC datacards have been launched to date, representing a 150 per cent increase on the 108 comparable 3G products available a year ago.
More than 90 devices have been launched since mid-2005, a 50 per cent growth in the past six months.
This latest figure of 272 devices includes 14 products which support High-Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) for wireless broadband applications.
WCDMA/HSDPA operators have also emphasised the importance of GSM/Edge for service continuity, and the number of devices that support WCDMA and GSM/Edge has climbed to 31. Edge is a faster version of GSM wireless.
The research also indicates that the number of suppliers to have launched WCDMA products has almost doubled in 12 months, from 20 to 37.
Some 80 per cent of current WCDMA devices are targeted at the 3G market, compared to 73 per cent six months ago. The remainder are focused on the Freedom of Mobile Multimedia Access (FOMA) market in Japan.
The survey identifies several FOMA devices that are also compatible with WCDMA/GSM/GPRS networks worldwide to support international roaming.
The Global Mobile Suppliers Association also reported that 100 3G/WCDMA networks support commercial services in 42 countries, underlining WCDMA as the leading 3G mobile communications system.
The number of WCDMA subscribers passed 40 million in November 2005, an increase of 140 per cent since the end of 2004, and is shortly expected to pass the 50 million milestone.
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