It turns out that, despite what T-Mobile USA would have you believe, 3G technology is more than a passing fad. A recent study published by GSM World has revealed that there are over 200 million 3G subscribers worldwide.  The breakdown of subscribers by technology is as follows:

  • 131 million UMTS subscribers
  • 3.5 million HSDPA users
  • 65 million EV-DO/EV-DO Rev. A subscribers

This is a pretty staggering set of statistics. Of the roughly 3 billion handsets worldwide, at least 6.7% of them are running some form of 3G technology. That doesn’t sound like much, but considering the fact that a large portion of the world’s network hasn’t hit 3G speeds yet, it’s a pretty impressive number. 20% of subscribers that live in 3G-capable areas have made the jump. The countries leading the 3G charge are South Korea with 75% saturation, Japan with 60% saturation, and Italy with a solid 35%. Sounds good to us, but we’d still like to see a more concentrated push towards complete 3G coverage here in the US. T-Mobile, your time has come and UMA for the most part, just ain’t gonna cut it.