CDMA COMMUNITY CALLS FOR HARMONIZED SPECTRUM ALLOCATION WORLDWIDE TO FACILITATE INTERNATIONAL ROAMING
COSTA MESA, Calif., Oct. 8, 2004 – The CDMA Development Group (CDG) (www.cdg.org) today reported that the issue of international roaming for both voice and 3G data services emerged as a prevailing theme at its 2004 CDMA Americas Congress, held in Miami last week. One of the key issues raised was the harmonization of spectrum allocation for CDMA to ensure global roaming for CDMA users worldwide. In this regard, a special reference was made to the experience in India where CDMA operators are facing the problem of spectrum allocation in the 1900 MHz band which is being used by CDMA operators in many regions such as Asia, North and Latin America. This allocation is being opposed by the GSM operators, more on the commercial grounds of preventing the growth of CDMA services in that part of the world rather than for any technical reasons.
“It is of the utmost importance that the 1900 MHz spectrum be allocated to CDMA operators in India to ensure that the region remains part of the international community of roaming wireless subscribers worldwide,” said B.B. Anand, President for Regulatory Affairs at Reliance Infocomm. “International roaming is a feature desired by all, but to do so will require allocating the same type of spectrum as is utilized elsewhere. The world over, GSM systems operate in the 900/1800 MHz bands while CDMA systems operate in the 800/1900MHz bandwidths and India should be no different.”
“Following the introduction of Unified Licenses in 2003, the number of CDMA users in India has grown exponentially to surpass 10 million and accounts for 25 percent of total users,” said Perry LaForge, executive director of the CDMA Development Group. “India is one of the key roaming markets and unless the 1900 MHz band is allocated to CDMA operators, CDMA subscribers in India and CDMA users traveling to India will be deprived of international roaming.”
CDMA operators in India have paid the same entry and license fees as GSM operators in the region, but have been denied equal spectrum allocation and appropriate spectrum as per international standards. Those opposing fair allocation of spectrum are spreading misinformation and inaccuracies, claiming that allocating the 1900 MHz band to CDMA operators will destroy the 3G “core band” and will block GSM operators from migrating to 3G. The fact is, there is no “core band” that is allocated to IMT-2000 (3G); the ITU has identified a number of bands for IMT-2000 services and allows administrations the flexibility to use different frequency bands in line with national requirements. CDMA operators in India have already deployed CDMA2000®, which is an IMT-2000 technology, in the 800 MHz band, one of the bands identified for IMT-2000 services, and Reliance Infocomm has introduced hundreds of advanced applications such as video streaming, mobile banking and e-mail access. Furthermore, UMTS is not the only band available to GSM operators. 3GPP has already standardized the 1800 MHz band and has been requested to standardize the 900 MHz band for WCDMA. It is also important to note that it is possible for CDMA2000 and WCDMA to co-exist in different parts of the ITU recognized IMT-2000 bands, including the UMTS band.
There are 231 CDMA networks serving more than 212 million users worldwide. The vast majority of CDMA networks operate in 800 MHz and 1900 MHz. Close to 100 of these operators have launched CDMA2000 (IMT-2000) technologies and are now providing advanced voice and data services to more than 124 million users in Asia, Australia, Europe, Latin and North Americas.
About the CDG
The CDMA Development Group is a trade association formed to foster the worldwide development, implementation and use of CDMA technologies. The 100 member companies of the CDG include many of the world’s largest wireless carriers and equipment manufacturers. The primary activities of the CDG include development of CDMA features and services, public relations, education and seminars, regulatory affairs and international support. Currently, there are more than 500 individuals working within various CDG subcommittees on CDMA-related matters. For more information about the CDG, contact the CDG News Bureau at +1-714-540-1030 or visit the CDG Web site at www.cdg.org.
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