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REPORT FORECASTS 500M SUBS BY ’02

WASHINGTON-The worldwide market for cellular and personal communications services will reach more than 500 million subscribers by 2002, predicted The Strategis Group in its “World Cellular and PCS Markets: 1997” report. The company noted there were 140 million subscribers to cellular and PCS at the end of last year.

Strategis said 1996 will be remembered for breaking the 100 million subscriber mark as well as being the year when the digital cellular and PCS subscriber base surpassed that of analog in Western Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.

Strategis forecasts that the installed subscriber base of digital cellular and PCS technologies will surpass that of analog in 1997, and by 2002, nearly 90 percent of the world’s cellular and PCS users will be using digital.

The digital market is currently dominated by Global System for Mobile communications technology. Code Division Multiple Access is projected to take second place by 2002. Of the 305 million digital cellular subscribers Strategis predicts for 2002, 181 million will be using GSM, 58 million will use CDMA and 40 million will use Time Division Multiple Access technology.

PCS locked in a 5 percent market share last year, Strategis said. Personal Handyphone System leads the PCS market, with more than 5 million subscribers in Japan. By 2002, Strategis said Digital Cellular System 1800 and CDMA technologies will become more prominent.

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