Research Finds AWS Spectrum Critical
The licensing of the Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) band will put the Americas on a par with Asia and Europe in terms of 3G reach, according to new research conducted by Global View Partners, a U.S.-based research firm, in partnership with the GSMA, which represents the interests of the worldwide mobile communications industry.
AWS band is 90 MHz of spectrum in the 1.7-2.1 GHz range.
The research found that, as a core 3G band in the Americas, AWS spectrum is vital for the growth of mobile broadband as it will accelerate the launch of new services that will drive new mobile broadband devices and applications.
The AWS band has already added significant mobile broadband capacity and coverage to the U.S. and Canadian markets where auctions to license the spectrum have already taken place, with many Latin America markets planning to license the spectrum throughout 2009. The research found that prices paid for AWS spectrum in the United States and Canada revealed high market demand. (For more on AWS auctions, click here).
Growth in AWS subscribers and device volumes is also projected for the Americas, according to the research. Additional licensing across the region should bring total subscribers with AWS-enabled devices from an estimated 12.4 million at the end of 2009 to an estimated 177.8 million at the end of 2013, a growth rate of 94 percent each year.
The research also highlighted operator plans. For example, T-Mobile USA plans to continue to drive AWS device and subscriber penetration over the next several years. Global View Partner’s market forecast predicts approximately one-half of the operator’s subscriber base are expected to be using HSPA-enabled devices capable of operating in the AWS band within two years, with more than 90 percent within five years.
The research was commissioned by the GSMA, a mobile communications association with members from 219 countries.