Over half of the world's licensed 3G/WCDMA network operators have launched services to customers, the Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) has reported, and networks are currently in service in 31 countries.
"2004 was the year of rollout for 3G, and the key catalysts have been the number and variety of devices out there," said Alan Hadden, president of the GSA. "This is continuing to accelerate in the number of devices and their suppliers."
Hadden also outlined some of the advances that can be expected in mobile data speed. A software upgrade to existing 3G services called High Speed Data Packet Access would boost download speeds to a theoretical maximum of 14Mbps, although in practice speeds would probably be around 1Mbps to 3Mbps.
Network operators are also exploring a technology called multiple input, multiple output that is currently being tested on Wi-Fi networks. This could boost speeds to theoretical maximum of 100Mbps when it is introduced in 2008, according to Hadden.
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