Ericsson predicts over 120 million 3rd generation mobile users by 2004

Ericsson today announced new forecasts showing that the number of users of 3rd-generation IMT-2000 mobile telephony will grow faster than expected.

Ericsson also increased its forecast for the total number of mobile telephony users in 2004 from one billion to 1.1 billion.

Already in early 2004 there will be 100 million users of IMT-2000 and by the end of the year there will be over 120 million subscribers. A previous forecast pointed to approximately 50 million users by the end of 2004.

"Our new forecast is based on the enormous interest that network operators are showing in the evolution of today's mobile communications' technology to truly wideband multimedia-capable mobile services across all digital standards," says Kurt Hellström, President of Ericsson.

This is due to aggressive operator investments in new packet-data equipment and huge interest in 3rd-generation IMT-2000 licenses and timely roll-out of new services.

"Already in 1999 we are seeing that sales of GPRS packet-data equipment give operators the capabilities to offer new and more content-rich applications to their subscribers and develop new business," says Torbjörn Nilsson, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Strategic Business Development.

Ericsson's new IMT-2000 forecast also points to a faster pick-up of mobile packet-data usage with around 400 million users of e-mail and Intranet access by 2004. Consequently, 4 out of 10 Internet users will also use mobile access to the Internet.

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