Telecom Giants Wait Out 3G Delays

The GSM industry’s three stage plan to 3G (GPRS->EDGE->UMTS) hasn’t really evolved like they hoped. Most European carriers planned to skip EDGE and just jump from GPRS to UMTS, while US carriers planned to adopt EDGE with UMTS many years off, if ever. In addition the predicted upgrade dates were too close together to be realistic. We’ve always believed that GPRS would end up being around a lot longer than anyone really planned due to the cost of upgrading and UMTS technology delays. Reality seems to be setting in at 3GSM this week. People are admitting widespread UTMS is a good 1-2 years away (kind of obvious at this point). Carriers are reevaluating EDGE as a way to hold off on UMTS spending and more GSM/GPRS devices are coming to market.

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