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CDMA Captures 25% Market Share in India
Posted: 01-Mar-2005 [Source: CDG]

[CDMA rapidly expands in India as the subscriber base increases over 500% since 2002 to reach 14 million users.]

Costa Mesa, Calif. -- The CDMA Development Group (CDG) announced that CDMA coverage is rapidly expanding in India. Between December 2002 and 2004, the CDMA subscriber base increased over 500% to reach 14 million users, and CDMA market share grew from 2% to 25%. With the deployment of CDMA2000, operators have introduced high-speed Internet access and a broad range of advanced data services.

"India is the fastest-growing wireless market in the world, and CDMA2000 has and will continue to play a key role in this important region," said Perry LaForge, executive director of the CDG.

Since the liberalization of the telecommunication market in 2003, which allowed CDMA and other technologies to enter the mobile market, the penetration of wireless services in India has increased from 10 million at the end of 2002 to 45 million in 2004; wireless has become the dominant means of communication, surpassing fixed line connections. The competition has driven tariffs to one of the lowest rates in the world, putting phones in the hands of millions who previously could not afford it.

With the introduction of the Unified License and open competition, CDMA has thrived in India. The CDMA base grew from 1 million to 14 million users. CDMA operators have rapidly built networks and offered lower pricing plans in previously underserved areas. Reliance Infocomm, for example, offers wireless services in 1,100 towns throughout India, and recently announced plans to expand its CDMA2000 network to 400,000 villages across the country offering voice and data services to 6.5 million potential users. CDMA2000 operators, including Reliance and Tata, have introduced data services such as streaming video, mobile banking, wireless point-of-sale solutions, wireless data VPN for enterprise e-mail access, and vehicle tracking.

CDMA2000 will continue to expand and bring new services to the region. Lehman Brothers expects that CDMA will account for one third of net mobile subscriber additions in India.

There are six CDMA carriers operating in India today including BSNL, HFCL Infotel, MTNL, Reliance, Shyam Telelink and Tata Teleservices. With the deployment of CDMA2000 services, Reliance Infocomm Ltd. has become India's largest mobile phone company, serving more than 10 million users, or 20% of the market.

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