CDMA's reach expands to 9.3 million users in India

MUMBAI: CDMA is rapidly expanding and capturing significant market share in India, announced CDMA Development Group (CDG) on 21 April.

CDMA is one of the fastest growing wireless markets in the world. In the year 2003 there was widespread deployment of CDMA2000(r) but in March 2004, the base grew by 745 per cent, reaching nearly 9.3 million users.

There are seven CDMA carriers operating in India today including BSNL, HFCL Infotel, MTNL, Reliance, Shyam Telelink, and Tata Teleservices. Reliance being the largest operator captured 20 per cent market share in nine months after introducing CDMA2000 services in May 2003, says an official press release.

"India represents a tremendous opportunity for the wireless industry, and CDMA2000 is well positioned to become the dominant technology," said CDG executive director Perry LaForge.

He further added that, "CDMA2000's spectral efficiency allows operators to offer affordable services to existing markets and expand coverage to new areas. The high-speed capabilities of CDMA2000 offer a cost-effective solution for providing data services, including broadband access to the Internet."

India has surpassed more than 33 million mobile users in a span of time, which is less than five years. With only seven per cent tele density, many analysts view India as one of the world's most lucrative markets with tremendous growth potential. Financial analyst firm Lehman Brothers recently reported that India's wireless market is expected to grow to 50 million by 2004 and by August 2006 it's expected to grow to even 100 million, confirms the release.

CDMA was introduced in India as a limited mobility solution and reached nearly 1.1 million users by the end of 2002. With the deployment of CDMA2000 and market liberalization in 2003, the technology's adoption rate surged and the subscriber base grew by over eight million for the year, nearly five million in the second half. More importantly, the introduction of CDMA services has created competition, lowered tariffs and offered many citizens access to communication services for the first time.

Reliance introduced pre-paid services in February this year and Tata is expanding its CDMA network by adding capacity in the existing markets and expanding to 11 new markets by 2004.

Lehman Brothers expects that CDMA will continue to expand the market share with 33 per cent of net mobile subscriber additions this year.

The CDMA Development Group is a trade association formed to foster the worldwide development, implementation and use of CDMA technologies.

CDMA2000 is the 3rd Generation solution based on IS-95 for wireless operators who want to take advantage of the new market dynamics created by mobility and the Internet. CDMA2000 is both an air interface and a core network solution for delivering the services that customers are demanding today.

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