[information week] The world may be in the midst of a global recession, but it isn't impacting the rollout of wireless broadband technologies. The GSM Association reported Wednesday that global carriers are expected to spend about half of the $72 billion they have earmarked for mobile infrastructure capital expenditures on mobile broadband.
North America will spend the largest percentage -- 80% -- of the $19 billion it has slated for mobile broadband, the GSMA said. The Asia Pacific region will spend up to $34 billion and Europe, up to $14 billion. All global regions combined will spend about 52% of operator investment in mobile infrastructure.
"The forecasted investment in mobile broadband technologies reflects the importance the mobile industry places on enabling consumers to access any type of content on the move, whenever they want, wherever they want," said Michael O'Hara, GSMA chief marketing officer, in a statement.
"HSPA and HSPA+ have become the dominant global mobile broadband technologies and are set to benefit from a significant proportion of this CAPEX investment." The GSMA added that global HSPA connections are currently reaching the 200 million mark.
With some 13 million HSPA connections being created each month, the mobile trade association expects the year to end with more than 340 million HSPA connections. Europe will lead the way with 120 connections, followed by Asia Pacific with 116 million, and North America with 58 million.
The world's largest HSPA deployment is Telstra's Next G HSPA+ network, which covers 99% of Australia's population. With current HSPA+ peak network downlink speeds of 21 Mbps, Telstra is aiming higher and is testing 42 Mbps speeds.
Mobile Broadband Spending Continues To Rise