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CDMA2000 Moves to Its Next Growth Phase
Posted: 02-Mar-2009 [Source: CDMA Development Group]

[CDMA entering next growth phase as Chinese and Indian operators begin offering 3G fixed and wireless services.]

Costa Mesa, CA -- The CDMA Development Group (CDG) today noted that CDMA2000(r) is poised to enter into its next phase of rapid growth in 2009, as operators in China and India begin to offer 3G fixed and wireless services. CDMA2000 is already the most widely deployed 3G technology in the world, with 276 operators in 102 countries and territories serving more than 463 million subscribers. With a combined population exceeding 2.5 billion people, the two Pan Asian countries represent an enormous addressable market for 3G wireless telephony, broadband Internet access and a myriad of compelling data applications such as e-mail, personal navigation, FM radio and mobile broadcast services that will fuel the rapid growth of CDMA2000 over the next few years.

"CDMA2000 is on the cusp of entering its next large-scale growth opportunity, with Chinese and Indian operators preparing to offer 3G broadband data services to their markets," said Perry LaForge, executive director of the CDG. "These countries present a huge, diverse population that has been waiting for a reliable and affordable solution to access the Internet. China and India will become key drivers behind the 3G ecosystem, in reducing device costs and further catalyzing the growth and evolution of CDMA2000."

China Telecom is already offering CDMA2000 1X services and plans to launch EV-DO Revision A (Rev. A) mobile broadband in 324 cities nationwide during the first half of 2009. To attain its stated goals of gaining a 15 percent share of China's mobile market and achieving profitability in three years, China Telecom has announced it plans to increase its CDMA2000 customer base from 30 million to over 100 million within the next two to three years. The operator will spend more than US$11.7 billion on CDMA network expansion and optimization over the period to support this rapid growth. China's mobile Internet user base has only recently passed the 50 million user mark, representing less than 4 percent of the population. As 90 percent of all Internet users in China are also mobile users, there is enormous growth potential for China Telecom since its 3G network will be optimized for economical, high-speed broadband performance. The operator will also be able to leverage its existing landline business and expand its market share by offering a combination of fixed and mobile broadband data services at attractive prices to China's large and underserved population.

In India, CDMA operators have been offering a large variety of voice, messaging and data services using CDMA2000 1X, and are prepared to upgrade their networks to EV-DO Rev. A to deliver broadband Internet access and wireless data services with increased performance and efficiency. As the leading mobile broadband technology in the world, Rev. A offers peak data rates of 3.1 Mbps in the forward link and 1.8 Mbps in the reverse link. Despite the challenges presented by limited spectrum availability, CDMA2000 operators in India are seeking to capitalize on the world's highest rate of subscription growth, where almost half a billion new wireless phone users are expected in India over the next five years. Furthermore, the proposed implementation of Mobile Number Portability (MNP) is expected to aid the growth of CDMA2000 subscribers in India's highly competitive market.

The entrance of competitive 3G services into these two markets will fortify the CDMA2000 ecosystem, accelerate the global migration from 2G to 3G and further drive evolutionary enhancements to CDMA2000 1X and EV-DO. CDMA2000's maturity, performance, ease of deployment and ability to cover broad areas of terrain with fewer base stations make it well-suited to meet the substantial demand for broadband connectivity in these emerging markets. Economies of scale will drive devices' costs down even further, with some entry-level CDMA2000 devices expected to be priced at less than US$20, half the price of equivalent WCDMA devices. Additionally, increased competition between 3G service providers in China and India will further drive innovation, opening a broader pipeline of applications and value-added services while lowering costs.

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