CDMA operators will choose LTE

Long Term Evolution (LTE) will win over ultra mobile broadband (UMB) and Wimax as the mainstream technology in the race for 4G, suggests a ZTE executive.

Even CDMA operators will choose LTE over Qualcomm's UMB, due to economies of scale, said Shen Donglin, VP of wireless technology at ZTE USA.

LTE is the 4G standard for GSM and W-CDMA networks.

Shen said China Telecom, which recently bought the Unicom's CDMA business, had decided to ditch UMB in favor of LTE. Chairman Wang Xiaochu says the company will initially upgrade the CDMA network to EV-DO Rev A and eventually migrate to LTE.

Shen said China Telecom is just one of a string of CDMA carriers around the world, such as Verizon Wireless, which will begin testing LTE next year.

'This is a global trend: CDMA is shrinking and the economies of scale between CDMA and GSM cannot be compared,' he told the Show Daily. 'CDMA as a 2G technology will continue for while to support voice service, but at the end of the day the majority of [EV-DO] operators will eventually go for LTE, not UMB.'

While Wimax is gaining traction, Shen suggesed the opportunity for Wimax remains small because it's more 'vendor-driven' and doesn't yet support full mobility.

'Wimax will be a technology for niche markets, as such fixed replacement, and not likely to be widely adopted,' he said.