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CDMA Development Group-led Open Market Handset Trials Reach Successful Conclusion in India
Posted: 12-May-2008 [Source: CDMA Development Group]

[CDMA Development Group says commercial deployment of open handsets on track for second half of 2008.]

Costa Mesa, CA -- The CDMA Development Group (CDG) today announced the successful conclusion of its Open Market Handset (OMH) proof of concept trials in cooperation with Reliance Communications and TATA Indicom in India. Open Market Handsets enable both operator-specific configuration information and subscriber-specific provisioning information to be moved from the handset's non-volatile (NV) memory into a Removable User Identity Module (R-UIM) or smartcard. By doing so, the handset becomes a generic device that can be sold anywhere on the ``open market'' and used in multiple operator networks. The OMH program is part of the CDG's overall Global Handset Requirements for CDMA (GHRC) initiative, which specifies the common set of requirements and standards for approving CDMA devices in an open-device and open-application environment.

ADVERTISEMENT ``The more flexibility we can give CDMA operators and their subscribers, the higher the success rate the technology will have in its continued expansion around the world,'' said James Person, chief operating officer of the CDG. ``The OMH initiative seeks to do that by opening up handsets to more application and service choices, which in the case of these trials means access to R-UIM data capabilities that are independent of the network and handset. As we look to commercialize these capabilities, the cost of handsets will fall due to volume aggregation efforts, access to new applications will improve the mobile experience for consumers, and inventory costs will drop.''

The OMH trials conducted in India verified and validated the OMH implementation for CDMA2000(r) handsets and for multiple data-enabled R-UIMs across two separate carrier networks, each requiring a specific network implementation. The goal of the trials was to prove that all subscriber, service and network provisioning data can be independently stored on R-UIM smartcards rather than existing on both SIM cards and the handsets. The resulting solution allows OMH-enabled CDMA handsets to serve as open devices for any open packet data application provisioned on the R-UIM smartcard. The devices can be used across multiple operators since all user, network and service configuration data is stored on the removable smartcards.

These successful OMH trials are a milestone for CDMA operators looking to lower their distribution and inventory costs while increasing their selection of devices and services. By using an OMH-capable R-UIM to provision all data services, multiple operators can support the same generic hardware and software design across handsets. OEMs benefit from lower development costs, greater economies of scale, enriched brand development and the ability to sell devices across many markets and regions.

The proof of concept trials used OMH-enabled R-UIM smartcards provided by Oberthur Card Systems and Eastcompeace on prototype handsets developed by Huawei and ZTE. In addition, Open Market Handsets are provisioned for full-fledged 3G data capabilities across operators. Tested, proven features include SMS, MMS, BREW, WAP/browser, backward compatibility, voice (with authentication), CDMA2000 1X packet data (SIP with CHAP and PAP) and R-UIM-based carrier customization (SPN and application level).

The GHRC's OMH initiative already has received strong interest and commitment from TATA and Reliance in India, CityCell in Bangladesh, and Mobile-8, Bakrie, Flexi and IndoStat in Indonesia. Based on a strong momentum from these operators, the OMH market will expand to larger regional footprints in higher-growth CDMA markets. To support demand, many OEMs are planning to introduce CDMA OMH devices in the near future.

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