Forecast for Hell: Cold and Icy. Verizon and friends join GSMA. CDMA begins decent into the grave.

by Mike
Posted February 17th, 2010 at 7:06 am
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GSM or CDMA? It isn’t a hard decision to make, though it’s one that can often lead to heated debates (at least in the states where consumers aren’t very privy to the huge GSM market around the world). For myself, even though I’m on Verizon at the moment, I much prefer GSM and the freedom that popping SIM cards back and forth allowed. That SIM swapping may come into my life once again with me actually having to switch carriers at all as Verizon has officially announced that they’ve joined the GSMA.

What’s the big deal? Well, only that Verizon is again, a CDMA carrier and the GSMA is a GSM focused organization. In case you were wondering, the chosen “4G” technology for CDMA2000 networks was UMB backed by Qualcomm. However, after Qualcomm made the switch to LTE, others followed eventually killing off any hopes of UMB making it into the real world.

With Verizon voicing support for LTE (GSM technology) well back into last year, it was only a matter of time before they became friends with the cool kids and joined the GSMA club. One thing that’s interesting to mention is that with Verizon’s acceptance into the GSMA, has CDMA finally been dealt a final blow? I mean, well over 80% of the world uses GSM technology with the rest making up CDMA. Of that small global CDMA figure, the US makes up one of the largest shares.

Moving forward, it will be interesting to see how Verizon adopts and adapts the rules of the GSM realm. What I’m most curious about is if and how they will incorporate SIM cards. Common sense says they’d just start moving services over to SIM cards so that the transition to 4G and beyond would be that much easier. Though I can already see the nightmare of moving an entire network from a SIM-less nature to one that is the exact opposite. Above all else, there’s always the fact that Verizon hasn’t ever really been the most customer friendly or “open” network. With the move to GSM comes a much more open philosophy and way of thinking. Is Verizon ready? Are you ready?

In the grander scheme of things, Verizon isn’t the only major CDMA carrier promising LTE adoption as China Telecom and KDDI have also voiced intentions of moving to LTE as well as joining the GSMA. With that said: Will three of the biggest CDMA networks making the move to LTE for 4G (and most likely beyond) be more fallen dominoes in the path to CDMA’s death?

Unwired
GSM World

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7 ResponsesLeave a comment
  • Phillip
    February 17, 2010 at 8:16 am
    Reply

    I would say more than 5. They are just starting launch of LTE this year, but “supposedly” no phones will be in this 2010 launch. So lets flashforward to 2011, and they have a full scale launch of LTE in their 2010 Markets. It will probably take them 3-4 years at the least to get LTE to where their current EVDO service is at, and until then they are going to have to continue to support CDMA

  • Phillip
    February 17, 2010 at 7:45 am
    Reply

    I can tell you that they are probably going to have CDMA/GSM phones until the majority of their customers are on LTE. Thats what it sounds like we’re doing and it makes the most sense

    • Mike
      February 17, 2010 at 7:49 am
      Reply

      Ya, for the foreseeable future it’ll be like their current “World Phones”. How long until you think CDMA is wiped from Verizon for good? 5, 10, 15 years?

      • Phillip
        February 17, 2010 at 8:17 am
        Reply

        I would say more than 5. They are just starting launch of LTE this year, but “supposedly” no phones will be in this 2010 launch. So lets flashforward to 2011, and they have a full scale launch of LTE in their 2010 Markets. It will probably take them 3-4 years at the least to get LTE to where their current EVDO service is at, and until then they are going to have to continue to support CDMA

        • Mike
          February 17, 2010 at 8:32 am
          Reply

          Ok, 13.4 years it is.

          • Phillip
            February 17, 2010 at 10:11 am

            Haha, thats a pretty precise number. I like it!

  • Mike
    February 17, 2010 at 12:23 pm
    Reply

    Scienific fact.

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