The number of subscribers on high speed packet access (HSPA) networks worldwide has passed the 50 million mark and continues to grow strongly, according to the GSM Association (GSMA). A year ago, GSMA estimated there were only around eleven million broadband subscribers. The Association reports that currently 191 operators worldwide now operate commercial HSPA networks, with a strong emphasis in the Asia-Pacific region which accounts for more than 40% of the worldwide subscriber base. ‘We are continuing to see greater and greater economies of scale,’ said GSMA chief executive Rob Conway. ‘This is driving down the cost of devices and equipment and enabling more users [to have] access to media-rich services.’ GSMA says that the most widely available data speeds over HSPA networks are between 3.6Mbps and 7.2Mbps (downlink), equivalent to an end-user connection of 1Mbps – comparable with many fixed line broadband services.