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CDMA is not dead, notes ABI

Posted: 21 Aug 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:CDMA market? UMTS/HSPA? data communications? mobile broadband?

Although the overall dynamics of CDMA markets are overshadowed by the hype around UMTS/HSPA and the migration to LTE, CDMA operators continue to upgrade their networks to provide capacity for higher numbers of bandwidth-intensive data services, as well as escalating traffic load. This is according to ABI Research's report "Mobile Subscriber Market Data".

"Global EVDO Rev A subscriber numbers ramped up more than eightfold between Q2 07 and Q2 08," says ABI analyst Khor Hwai Lin. "The United States and South Korean markets show the highest growth rate for EVDO Rev A. The increased support for LTE from incumbent CDMA operators does not imply the imminent death of EVDO Rev A and B, because LTE is addressing different market needs compared to 3G."

EVDO Rev A subscribers will exceed 54 million by 2013 while Rev B subscribers will reach 25 million, reports ABI.

Over 31 million subscribers worldwide are already using HSDPA while 3.2 million subscribers were on HSUPA networks by Q2 08. Upgrades to HSUPA continue to take place aggressively around Western Europe and the Asia Pacific. Hence, HSUPA subscribers are estimated to hit 139 million by 2013.

"HSPA+ will contest with LTE and mobile WiMAX in the mobile broadband space," adds Asia-Pacific VP Jake Saunders. The 100Mbit/s download data rate difference between LTE (20MHz) and HSPA+ may not attract mid-tier operators to migrate, as LTE is based on OFDM technology that requires new components, while a move to HSPA+ is perceived to be more gradual transition."

Due to the large number of GSM 900 subscribers and the high possibility of refarming the spectrum for UMTS, ABI estimates that the majority of these global subscribers (about 1.2 billion by 2013) will be on 900MHz-only band. In second place would be dual-band users on 900MHz and 1,800MHz (1 billion by 2013). Subscribers of 2100MHz will ramp up steadily with a CAGR of 23.5 percent between 2007 and 2013.

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