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CDMA2000 Mobile Broadband Growth Highlights 2009 as Defining Year for 3G
Posted: 06-Jan-2010 [Source: CDMA Development Group]

[Worldwide subscriber base for CDMA200 networks is now over half a billion people--more than a quarter of those are EV-DO mobile broadband users.]

Costa Mesa, CA -- The CDMA Development Group (CDG) today announced third quarter subscriber statistics for CDMA2000(R), highlighting the migration from 2G to 3G CDMA services in emerging and developed markets. In addition to 18 new CDMA2000 networks in 2009, rapidly-growing markets, such as China and India, have pushed the subscriber base for CDMA2000 to over half a billion people; more than a quarter of those are EV-DO mobile broadband users.

"In 2009, devices, applications, user interfaces and network services all matured to provide a mobile experience that delivers on the promise of 3G," said Perry LaForge, executive director of the CDG. "Looking to the next decade, we will continue growing, enhancing and optimizing 3G CDMA while providing interworking with technologies such as LTE and Mobile WiMAX."

During the third quarter of 2009, CDMA2000 subscribers increased to 512 million, added 17.6 million new subscribers during the period, and CDMA technologies, including cdmaOne, reached 516.7 million users. Over the past year, adoption of 3G broadband in Asia, North America, Europe and Africa has lead to 31 million new EV-DO subscribers. The 30 percent annual growth rate included the addition of 8.6 million EV-DO users during the third quarter, increasing the total to 136.5 million subscribers.

The year was also marked by several CDMA2000 milestones. In May, the CDG announced that over 100 million subscribers in India are using CDMA2000 services. CDMA operators Reliance and Tata began offering India's first mobile broadband services in early 2009. They also became the first operators in the world to offer CDMA Open Market Handsets (OMH) to enable greater consumer choice and flexibility. OMH is a device availability initiative led by the CDG that is expanding into Indonesia, Nigeria and other markets in 2010. Extending India's position at the forefront of CDMA2000, operator MTS has committed to be among the first to deploy CDMA2000 1X Advanced in 2010 to deliver increased voice capacity.

2009 also saw the introduction of 3G into China. China Telecom was the first to offer 3G broadband data services across the nation and captured 50 percent of the fledgling 3G mobile broadband market. In less than a year, China Telecom extended its EV-DO Rev. A mobile broadband network to over 500 cities, introduced more than 600 CDMA2000 1X and EV-DO devices from 160 manufacturers, and expanded its customer base to more than 50 million people. In 2010, China Telecom plans to become the largest CDMA2000 operator in the world, while also being among the first to deploy EV-DO Rev. B, delivering speeds of 9.3 Mbps in the downlink and 5.4 Mbps in the uplink.

The CDG also introduced several new initiatives in the past year to ensure that CDMA2000 operators remain successful in an increasingly-competitive wireless landscape. A machine-to-machine (M2M) special interest group was created to capitalize on embedded communications opportunities in several vertical industries, such as healthcare, smart energy, logistics and consumer electronics. The CDMA Roaming Hub (CRH) initiative was announced this year, which will further expand the CDMA roaming footprint and simplify the roaming agreement process. The first commercial roaming hubs will begin operation by mid-2010.

Finally, the CDG became a Market Representation Partner (MRP) for 3GPP in 2009, to facilitate the interworking of CDMA2000 and LTE technologies on behalf of the CDMA community. The CDG's role will help these operators expand their market leadership by augmenting their 3G CDMA offerings with OFDM-based technologies in 2010 and beyond. These complementary technologies will be supported by a wide range of multimode CDMA2000/LTE devices from a variety of vendors.

The CDG believes that CDMA2000 will continue its growth trend in 2010, in terms of commercial networks, device selection, subscribers and revenue. Throughout the year, the technology will hit milestones such as the first 1X Advanced and EV-DO Rev. B commercial deployments, Simultaneous Voice and Data (SVDO) on CDMA2000 handsets, establishment of the first CDMA Roaming Hubs, OMH expansion into more than 10 new markets and the introduction of the first EV-DO and LTE WorldMode(TM) devices.

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