No Stopping GSM Growth in the Americas - Nine in Ten New Customers Choose GSM

2003 GSM Gain at 100% in the Americas and Milestone One Billion Customers

Worldwide Today

Feb 23, 2004, 00:00 ET from 3G Americas

    CANNES, France, Feb. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- 3G Americas reports 100% annual
 growth for GSM in 2003, giving GSM by far the largest percentage gain of any
 wireless technology in the Western Hemisphere.  Based on data from EMC, GSM is
 outpacing all other wireless technologies in Latin America, increasing its
 subscriber base by nearly 150% in 2003, almost six times more growth than the
 next most popular wireless technology.  The rapid deployment of GSM/GPRS on a
 nationwide basis in Canada and the U.S. contributed to GSM's 77% growth in the
 North American market in 2003.  GSM is the number one technology choice by new
 customers throughout North, Central and South America.  Thus, the Americas
 have a growing presence in the global GSM community that now numbers one
 billion customers in the milestone announced today by leading GSM
 organizations and manufacturers in Cannes including 3G Americas, GSM
 Association, UMTS Forum, Alcatel, Ericsson, Motorola, Nokia, Nortel Networks
 and Siemens.
     GSM posted a solid fourth quarter 2003 adding more than 11 million
 subscribers in the Americas and claiming nearly 90% of the total new quarterly
 customers in the region.  "In 2003, the Americas saw a proliferation of new
 and overlaid GSM networks emerge," stated Chris Pearson, President of 3G
 Americas.  "This growing footprint delivered GSM to many wireless customers
 and was further expanded through numerous roaming agreements between national
 and rural GSM operators."  Pearson continued, "It is phenomenal to think that
 9 out of 10 new customers in the region chose GSM in the fourth quarter of
 2003 and we see that momentum continuing in 2004 as well as the uptake of EDGE
 third generation services."
     Operators continue to select the GSM family of technologies -- GSM, GPRS,
 EDGE and UMTS/WCDMA -- for its combined benefits of economy of scale, voice
 capacity, advanced data capabilities, quality of service and global roaming.
 As evidence of this, 52 new GSM networks were launched in the Americas in the
 past year.  Additionally, since mid-2001, 40 TDMA operators in the region
 began their GSM migrations and in 2003 four CDMA operators switched over to
 the GSM migration route.
     Eva Benguigui, EMC's Latin America analyst, commented, "The decision taken
 by America Movil and Millicom International to deploy GSM across all their
 Latin American subsidiaries provides a great endorsement for the GSM
 technology and will lead to a significant increase in the GSM customer base in
 the region by the end of 2004."  Analysis in EMC World Cellular Investors
 shows that during 2003, there was substantial consolidation in Latin America
 after several operators in the largest markets -- Argentina, Mexico and Brazil
 -- were acquired by leading investors, such as America Movil.  Benguigui
 continued, "Most of these acquisitions have resulted in GSM network overlays,
 for example in the cases of Telefonica Moviles in Mexico and CTI Movil in
 Argentina (both from CDMA), and BCP Nordeste (BSE) and BCP Sao Paulo in Brazil
 (both from TDMA).  Also, where new PCS licenses were awarded in Colombia,
 Ecuador and Honduras, two out of the three licensees chose GSM, contributing
 significantly to the growth of the technology in the region."
     For charts on the growth of GSM, visit the 3G Americas website at:
     About 3G Americas:  Unifying the Americas through Wireless Technology
     The mission of 3G Americas is to promote and facilitate the seamless
 deployment of GSM, GPRS, EDGE, and UMTS (WCDMA) throughout the Americas for
 the benefit of consumers.  The organization fully supports the Third
 Generation technology migration strategy GSM/GPRS/EDGE and UMTS adopted by
 many operators in the Americas that is expected to account for up to 85% of
 next-generation customers worldwide.  3G Americas is headquartered in
 Bellevue, WA with an office for Latin America and the Caribbean in Dallas, TX.
 For more information, visit our website at
     About EMC
     EMC is a world-leading provider of specialist market intelligence for the
 wireless industry with a reputable track record founded on researching and
 publishing accurate data and statistics.  EMC's Market Data is stored in the
 EMC World Cellular Database:
      Vicki Livingston
      +1 262 242 3458

SOURCE 3G Americas