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CDMA VS GSM IN INDIA 0 Comments POSTED ON Nov 23, 2009 POSTED BY Kiran When we talk about cellular services, there are two main cellular data transmission technologies out there: Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) and Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM). GSM is the most popular technology worldwide. Although CDMA has a lower number of users compared to GSM, it is seriously popular in countries like China and India. Though both the technologies do a similar job, there is major difference between them in terms of how they work. In CDMA echnology both data and voice are separated using codes and then transmitted using a wide frequency range, leaving more space for data transfer. Because of this behaviour, CDMA is the preferred technology for 3G services. GSM is not a new technology. It was invented before CDMA but it has a reputation as the latest mobile technology. It’s often claimed that it’s a better technology because it uses a SIM chip, allowing users to switch handsets and operators more easily. Other advantages of GSM over CDMA are roaming readiness and fraud prevention.

GSM is used by over 3 billion people across more than 212 countries and by comparison, there are over 502 million CDMA users worldwide. According to a recent report by the CDMA Development Group (CDG), India has a CDMA user base of over 100 million which makes it world’s second-largest CDMA market in the world. US-based Verizon Wireless is the number one CDMA operator in the world and China based China Telecom ranks third. In India, CDMA mobile services were launched in December 2002 and in these seven years the Indian cellular market has seen ome major competition between it and GSM technology. It took several CDMA operators, device makers and technology facilitators to make India a well known CDMA enabled country. Tata Teleservices and Reliance Communications were the pioneer telcos to launch CDMA mobile services in India. CDMA services are currently available throughout 20 circles of India. Reliance Communications however is the largest operator of a CDMA platform in India’s wireless sector with 56% CDMA market share. Tata Teleservices on the other hand have 37% of the market share.

State owned Telco, BSNL have share of 6% in the CDMA market and newly launched MTS – owned by a foreign player, Sistema Shyam TeleServices Limited (SSTL), holds just 1%. SSTL still has high hopes for the technology to capture more market share. Mr. Vsevolod Rozanov, President and CEO of SSTL said, “MTS India is currently launching CDMA2000 services very aggressively across different telecom circles of the country. As a consortium of international CDMAservice providers and manufacturers, CDG provides the right platform for MTS India to connect with the global CDMA community. ” – TopNews.

Although India has a growing mobile phone industry it will be hard for SSTL to grab new subscribers since they are now competing with mature leaders like Tata Teleservices and Reliance Telecommunications. GSM magnetism There are about 350 million GSM subscribers and more than 10 GSM service providers in India. Bharti Airtel lead the way with about 95 million users. Vodafone, Reliance, Tata, Spice, BSNL, IDEA, Aircel, MTNL are some of the other major GSM providers. Did I say Reliance and Tata? Yes! They are not just in the CDMA business! Both telcos recently joined the GSM segment as well ith their GSM services, Reliance GSM and TATA DoCoMo. shanzhai contribution What could be the shanzhai contribution in the growth of the CDMA and GSM markets in India? They have provided affordable handsets to Indian users. Walk around any mobile market in Indian cities and you’ll be amazed to see different varieties of cloned and shanzhai phones for both types of technology, GSM and CDMA. A few months ago, when the Indian telecom ministry asked telecom operators to ban all phones with invalid IMEI numbers, I thought it could be the end of shanzhai phones in India.

But, thankfully, owners of shanzhai phones got an option to get valid IMEI numbers and continue using their phones. Conclusion One of the main reasons for GSM commanding the Indian telecom market over CDMA is that most of people in India tend to change or upgrade their handsets and CDMA limits this scope to some extent. But now the page seems to be turning. Recently, the CDMA Development Group (CDG) has started a new initiative called OMH (Open Market Handsets) to increase device variety and offer new channels of distribution within the CDMA environment.

OMH allows the purchase and use of an OMH device for any OMH-compliant operator network and allows the use of compatible SIM cards in CDMA devices. It’s already been adopted by Samsung, Reliance and Tata Indicom. [ImageSource 2] [ImageSource 3] [ImageSource 4] [ImageSource 5] Related articles •HTC unveils Windows Mobile 6. 5 based HD2 in India •HTC and Airtel tied up to roll out low cost 3G smartphone in India •Customer experiences of 3G services in India •DoT blames Defence for 3G spectrum auction delay in India •20 million GSM line contract for Huawei in India

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