The old days of a simple split between GSM and CDMA are over. All the 3G technologies have a CDMA base, and in 4G, the fight will be more about business models - new entrants versus established carriers - than platforms.
The two main contenders, the Wimax and LTE families, are technologically similar, but are being adopted for different approaches to the business.
Among the incumbent 3G operators, whether CDMA or GSM/HSPA, the trend is to a common LTE platform, ever since Qualcomm dropped its separate 4G path for CDMA, Ultra Mobile Broadband (UMB).
The shift in the market was signed and sealed last week when the CDMA Development Group (CDG) joined the 3GPP as a market representation partner, bringing it into the heartland of the GSM community's standards body.
The CDG - the industry group that promotes CDMA systems - has joined the 3GPP in order to help with the transition of CDMA operators to LTE.
This is the latest sign of a new cooperative outlook, with the body accepting that, while the technology will have a long life, with new deployments especially in emerging economies, it will eventually give way to other platforms at the 4G stage.
A year ago, chairman Perry LaForge stressed that the CDG would be working far closely with a range of industry groups, and saw roles for both LTE and Wimax in the CDMA base. “At the end of the day, they rely on a common OFDM base, and we will work at full interoperability with LTE and Wimax,” he told a conference.
The CDG will sit alongside 3G Americas as a 3GPP market representation partner, but their remits are different, with the latter looking after GSM carriers in north and south America.
Source: Rethink Wireless