Look Out GSM, CDMA Sneaking Into Europe

Aside from the obvious – CDMA is the foundation of all 3G technologies – CDMA is also making a run at newer 2.5G opportunities, primarily in Eastern Europe. Many countries are opting to deploy CDMA networks in the 450MHz band, formerly allocated to 1G Nordic Mobile Telephony systems. There are distinct benefits to this combination that appeal to largely rural, developing economies, with lots of land: 450Mhz travels much further than the 900 and 1800 used for GSM in Europe. Up to 80% fewer base stations can serve the same area. CDMA technology has a higher capacity than GSM, allowing more throughput in the narrow spectrum available at 450MHz. Russia is a prime example, and they are launching numerous CDMA450 networks, but it’s interesting that there is mounting pressure to offer CDMA450 in such GSM bastions as Sweden. Portugal already has plans for CDMA450. Sure, these systems will not roam well with most of Europe, which will stick to GSM, but the reality is that many people tend to stay close to home, and don’t need the roaming. That’s particularly true in the rural markets that CDMA450 is targeting.

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