Wireless carriers will spend as much as $72 billion to roll out mobile broadband infrastructure and services in 2010, the GSM Association said. Citing figures from Deutsche Bank, the GSMA said that broadband offerings will consume over half of all operator investment in mobile and wireless infrastructure, including 80 percent in North America.
“Asia Pacific will see the greatest investment in Mobile Broadband with predicted capital expenditure of up to $34 billion,” the Association said in a statement. “North America follows with up to $19 billion, with Europe expected to invest up to $14 billion.”
Worldwide deployments of High Speed Packet Access have reached 200 million, the Association reported. That total will reach 342 million connections by the end of the year.
The GSMA report comes as many wireless carriers are struggling to keep up with overwhelming demand for mobile data services, driven by deeper 3G penetration, rising sales of data-intensive smartphones, and the popularity of mobile applications. Chetan Sharma, president of Chetan Sharma Consulting, told Billing & OSS World that, without a careful approach to managing mobile data traffic, “costs could exceed revenues and become unsustainable by 2012 or sooner.”
Citing data from research firm Wireless Intelligence, the GSMA said that new HSPA connections will be added this year at a rate of almost 13 million per month.