" ITREALMS: Mobile growth rises to 374m in Latin America

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Thursday, October 13, 2005

Mobile growth rises to 374m in Latin America

FIFTH regional International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Telecom Americas and weekend with revealation that mobile growth in the region has grown from 128 million subscribers to 374 million, within the last five years.

ITU said that the evetn held at the Bahia Convention Center in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil with theme: “Moving to a Latin Beat’, was broad and pan-regional on focus and commitment.

Indicator released at the conclusion of the event by ITU showed that the growth of mobile telecommunication has been very impressive, especially in the last half a decade.

“From 1999 to 2004, the number of mobile subscribers have grown from 128 million to 374m, a more than three fold increase in five years,” according to ITU indicator for the region released during the event.

It also stated that demand for other services is equally strong — especially in the area of broadband, which is emerging as a key element of new digital solutions such as Voice over IP (VoIP).

ITU noted that while most mobile growth has so far been due to prepaid voice services, advanced mobile data solutions such as Triple Play and mobile multimedia are ready to further spur uptake of new services, as converged technologies become a reality.

In addition, fixed-line network growth, the global regulatory body said, has remained virtually flat across the region, creating an important impediment to bridging the Digital Divide in the area of online connectivity.

Even continued spectacular growth in mobile will not solve this problem until wireless networks are able to provide reliable broadband services.

The regulator further said that average annual growth rate of fixed-line was just 0.7 per cent from 2000-2004.

Deputy Secretary-General of the ITU, Mr. Roberto Blois, said in an address to the occasion that TELECOM AMERICAS 2005 has served to frame the critical issues that needed to be addressed to reach the next level of growth in the region.

"… We have seen the coming together of regulatory, standardization and product development discussions concerning broadband, mobile, multimedia, and other emerging technologies. The industry is poised for new growth, but this will need to be well-coordinated in order to ensure true digital inclusion throughout the Americas,” he asserted.

Obviously referring to the advent of fast-moving technologies such as third generation (3G), Internet Protoco TV (IPTV) and Triple Play, Mr. Blois declared, "Powerful technologies such as these require interoperable standards and an enabling regulatory environment, so they could be brought to market successfully."

The high-level executives and officials from across the region, including regulators from Brazil, Ecuador, El Salvador, Germany, Guatemala, Honduras, Jordan, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Tanzania, Trinidad & Tobago and Venezuela attended the convention and were led by President of Anatel, the National Regulatory Agency of Brazil, Mr Elifas Gurgel do Amaral.

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