CDMA will dominate the third generation of mobile communications, claims a new US report, flying in the face of Europe's top four telecomms equipment makers, which are backing GSM.
The big four are urging authorities to base the new network on GSM when the world moves to the next wave of digital cellular technology in five years? time (see Newswire 15 August).
The predictions by US-based wireless comms consultancy Tag International also seem to contradict GSM's performance figures to date. The technology has won the biggest market share around the world, with 30.5 million of the world?s 66 million new mobile subscribers signing on to the GSM network this year, compared to 5.7 million for CDMA. The second most popular network after GSM is Japan?s PDC.
The consultancy predicts that GSM will account for more than half of the new subscribers next year too. But PDC is to migrate to CDMA, so that a quarter of new sign-ups in 1998 will be for CDMA. Also, the numbers using TDMA, a CDMA derivative, will grow by 64 per cent, mainly in Latin America. The overtaking of GSM will continue in subsequent years.
The decline in analogue services contines, with suscribers to these dropping by 48 per cent.
William Murphy, president of Tag International, believes the jump to wideband CDMA, the version specifically for third generation communications - which will become prevalent from 2002 - will be difficult because of GSM?s entrenched position. ?The general consensus is that GSM will be overlayed with wideband CDMA,? said Murphy.
Even when most of the world is using one standard, Murphy does not believe that true global roaming will be immediately available. Issues such as the differences in frequencies need to be resolved - European authorities have reserved the 2GHz space, but this is used in the US by the national PCS network.
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