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Dell’Oro: W-CDMA set to stomp into CDMA market

W-CDMA technology will enjoy “exceptional” growth over the next several years, according to research firm Dell’Oro Group, expansion that will come at the expense of CDMA technology.
“While growth in W-CDMA remains tepid in the short term, we remain confident in its longer-term growth and potential to slowly displace GSM, because of the large percentage of mobile service providers that have committed to W-CDMA technology and the expectation of increased subscriber adoption as handset prices drop in the future,” said Greg Collins, vice president of mobile infrastructure research at Dell’Oro.
Dell’Oro’s report predicts that W-CDMA technology will capture “meaningful market share” from CDMA as carriers in key growth areas such as India, Brazil and Korea migrate their subscriber bases to GSM or W-CDMA-based services.
News of the worldwide move from CDMA to W-CDMA first surfaced last year, when several CDMA carriers across the globe indicated they were eying GSM and W-CDMA technology. CDMA proponents sought to refute reports on the issue, citing a separate list of carriers they said were moving from GSM to CDMA. CDMA pioneer Qualcomm Inc. also sought to downplay the situation, pointing to its strong chipset and intellectual property position in W-CDMA.
Dell’Oro’s prediction of a shift from CDMA to W-CDMA over the next several years lends additional weight to concerns over the future of the CDMA market.
Aside from the W-CDMA vs. CDMA battle, Dell’Oro’s report also touched on the market for WiMAX technology, a nascent but much-hyped portion of the global infrastructure industry. Dell’Oro predicts that revenues in the worldwide mobile infrastructure equipment market will grow steadily over the next five years, and that WiMAX equipment sales will help push revenues along starting next year.
“We expect the mobile WiMAX market to grow by a compounded annual growth rate exceeding of 50 percent through 2011,” said Collins. “Despite this strong growth, we predict WiMAX will account for less than 10 percent of the mobile infrastructure market in 2011 because of the lack of voice services available in the short term.”

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