Mobile Usage to Double by 2007

Despite tough global economic conditions and burdensome debt loads carried by operators in many markets, demand for mobile telecommunications services remains strong and the number of mobile subscribers worldwide will double by 2007, said Kurt Hellstrom, president of Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson, during a keynote speech at the IEEE Global Telecommunications Conference in Taipei recently.

"We believe the [mobile] subscription growth is going to continue and will reach roughly 1.8 billion in 2007," Hellstrom said, noting that this is roughly double the current number of mobile subscribers. "We have only seen the beginning of the many opportunities that lie ahead."

New Nets Needed

Among those opportunities are new customers expressing growing demand for mobile data services, such as third-generation (3G) services. "We are just beginning to see the growth in mobile data. It starts with camera phones and sending pictures and one day this could be a natural way of communicating between each other," Hellstrom said. Ericsson is among several phone vendors that have developed cell phones with cameras built in, or that accept plug-in digital cameras.

"In technological terms, this requires high data rates and this is where technology comes in," he said, adding that the industry is beginning to see the adoption of high-bandwidth mobile technologies and the roll-out of 3G services in several countries, with operators in many others planning to soon launch similar services.

The shift to 3G services may prove challenging for operators, however, as high-speed data services, such as NTT DoCoMo's Foma 3G service, which was launched in October 2001, have experienced a rocky start.

Since its launch, Foma has been plagued by problems such as limited coverage and expensive handsets with short battery life. The service attracted 134,000 subscribers during its first 10 months in operation, far short of the company's initial expectations of 1.38 million subscribers by the end of 2002.

Mobile Remains Hot

The shortfall in Foma's subscriber growth stands in stark contrast with subscriber growth for other mobile offerings in Japan. During the ten months that followed the launch of the Foma service, 5.6 million people signed up for second generation (2G), or 2.5G services, in Japan, including 3 million with NTT DoCoMo.

"From a technological standpoint, nobody ... has ever expected that this technology shift would take place overnight," Hellstrom said. "It is an evolution and it is now ongoing."

Despite slow initial uptake of 3G services in markets like Japan, Hellstrom sees strong growth for mobile data services based on 3G and other technologies in the Asia-Pacific region, particularly Japan, in the coming years. "We anticipate that this region will account for more than 50 percent of all [mobile data] traffic in 2007-2008," he said.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Sumner Lemon

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?