InfoCom Says 3G User’s Base Growing at Last

The number of 3G users in most developed markets nearly doubled to 303m — Japan and South Korea leaders in mobile services — Competition, network coverage, choice of devices future 3G success factors.

Stuttgart, Germany, December 12, 2009 --( According to InfoCom latest release, the number of 3G users in Japan, South Korea, the US and the top-5 Western European countries nearly doubled as of 2Q09 to approximately 303m. Among the countries evaluated, Japan and the US had the highest number of 3G users in 2Q09 with roughly 102m and 67m respectively. On the other hand, Italy led the top-5 Western European countries with over 30m 3G users in 2Q09 while France had the lowest number with 15.7m.

Japan and South Korea were one of the few countries taking off right away. Generally speaking these two countries are leaders in mobile services and technology. In 2Q09, both countries managed to sustain market leadership in 3G and accounted for the highest 3G penetration rates (per inhabitant) among the countries examined, with Japan having 80% and South Korea 51% 3G penetration. An InfoCom’s analyst located in Manila commented: “Japan and South Korea managed to encourage 3G migration through compulsory disconnections of 2G services and improvement in their services capitalising on high demand for 3G devices”. As of 2Q09, around 90% of the 113m mobile subscribers in Japan were 3G users compared to 53% of the 47m-base in South Korea.

Several factors will be critical for 3G success in the coming years: competition, network coverage, broad choice of 3G devices and finally applications requiring 3G. InfoCom’s Chief Research Analyst commented: “Indeed, a wide range of 3G handsets and devices can strongly stimulate 3G users growth. However, mobile operators should also ensure that the sale of these devices do translate to increasing 3G usage”. Increasing coverage and improving technology can encourage growth as well but an appropriate wide range of services, such as Internet access, music, mobile TV, video telephony/messaging or gaming, will crucial to increase minutes of use and, consequently, generate sustainable revenue streams.

About this release: This release is based on a recent TS&T (Telecoms Strategies & Trends) — TS&T is a highly analytical publication on ICT business that provides in-depth articles on a variety of topics such as companies, markets and trends. Each issue contains up-to-date rigorous analysis. This strategy e-journal delivers a concise analysis of market development to industry leaders and business strategists of both service and equipment providers. Topics are presented in a detailed yet succinct format with relevant text and meaningful pictures.

About InfoCom: InfoCom is a market research and consultancy company with over 20 years experience providing strategic analyses and planning assistance to stakeholders in the telecommunications, IT and multimedia industries. InfoCom’s independent and fact-based analyses highlight trends and opportunities, supporting decision makers to understand market dynamics in order to improve their competitive advantage.

Infocom GmbH
Aileen Brucal
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