Telus To Offer GSM Roaming

This story is being categorized as “ramblings” in the sense of “rambling around the world”. That act has always been harder if one was a CDMA telecom customer, because in most of the world, GSM is the regulated standard for 2G mobile networks. In late 2002 Qualcomm, the CDMA chip maker, released an advanced chip capable of powering a phone on either network technology, the MSM6300. Today, Canada’s Telus Communications launched a Motorola phone, the A840, that will allow their CDMA customers to roam onto GSM networks. The interesting aspect of this is that Telus operates two networks domestically – iDEN (like Nextel) and CDMA. Telus, therefore, has simultaneously launched the Motorola i930 iDEN/GSM phone, thus allowing their ‘Mike’ customers to also roam in Europe with their phone. This is important to Telus, since the iDEN ‘Mike’ demographic skews towards enterprise customers – those most likely to demand international roaming services. We guess that the iDEN/GSM phone is a two chip solution, where the CDMA/GSM phone is leveraging Qualcomm’s GSM1x MSM6300 one-chip solution.

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