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CDMA2000 and GSM Handsets are Approaching Price Parity in India

COSTA MESA,CALIF. — June 26, 2006 — The CDMA Development Group (CDG) ( announced today that there are 21 CDMA2000® phones being offered for less than $50 USD (wholesale) from 10 different suppliers in India. This compares to only 18 GSM handsets being offered for less than $50 from 5 suppliers. The low-cost CDMA2000 handsets provide access to downloadable value-added services, while the GSM low-cost handsets, as 2G devices, do not.

The level of competition to deliver entry-level handsets in India, one of the most competitive markets in world, has increased significantly. A recent Yankee Group report that focused on the monthly ex-factory/landed cost of all handsets legally imported into India has uncovered many important facts related to the price and availability of ultra-low cost devices. The report, entitled “Aiming Low for Great Heights: Ultra-Low Cost Device Competition in India,” supports the claim that CDMA2000 devices outperform GSM devices in this dynamic market.

Since the beginning of 2006, CDMA2000 handsets have accounted for as much as 60 percent of all entry-level (sub-$50) handsets imported into India on a monthly basis. And, for more than six months, the difference in the average wholesale price of CDMA2000 and GSM phones being sold below $50 in India has been $1.00 to $4.00 USD. During the same period of time, less than 5 percent of the handsets purchased in India were supplied by the GSM emerging-market handset initiative. The findings of this market study show that CDMA2000 is leading the way in offering subscribers more value and doing a better job at fulfilling the demand for entry-level handsets to price-sensitive consumers in India.

The response of the Indian market towards the purchase of CDMA2000 handsets has been very positive. Today, about one-third of the more than 100 million wireless subscribers in India use a CDMA2000 handset. In March of 2006, CDMA2000 handset shipments into India surpassed those of GSM for the first time. One reason for this increase in shipment volume is due to the larger selection of affordable devices from more suppliers across the entire CDMA2000 product portfolio, and their ability to meet the diverse needs of most Indian consumers. According to the Yankee Group, when considering the entire portfolio of low and high-end devices that were available in India during April of 2006, the average wholesale price of all CDMA2000 devices was $35 less than GSM.

As a result of this intense competition, the price gap between entry-level CDMA2000 and GSM handsets shipped into India has narrowed significantly. Market data now shows that CDMA2000 and GSM handsets are equally competitive at the low end. “CDMA2000 low-cost handsets have approached price parity with GSM and are more affordable than GSM handsets across the entire product portfolio,” said Perry LaForge, executive director of the CDG. “These competitively priced devices will enable operators to more effectively address the entire market”.

Recent market studies have confirmed that consumers want to do more with their handsets than just make simple voice calls and send short messages. John Jackson, director of wireless/mobile technologies at the Yankee Group, who led the Yankee Group ultra-low cost handset study states, “It is clear that consumers want affordable phones that offer value, not necessarily the cheapest phone. Consumers associate value with brand affinity, quality perceptions, and performance expectations. In this regard, the low end is no different from the high end. Therefore, the lowest priced handsets may actually drive consumers away. In markets such as India where PC penetration is nominal, the data-capable handset will define the Internet experience for a massive numbers of end users.”

“Affordable data access using solutions such as BREW ® are catalyzing value-added service consumption by allowing users to download ringtones, wallpaper, games, news, daily prayers, and eventually Bollywood video clips. In the long term, exposing users to an enriched customer experience and exposure to advanced data services will enable operators to sustain revenue and profit growth,” added Jackson.

CDMA2000 offers a larger selection of fixed and mobile devices to address the diverse needs of individual markets and different market segments than any other advanced wireless technology today. Based on current market data, CDMA2000 is leading the way towards addressing the rural market segment in the most price-competitive mobile communications market in the world – India.

The CDMA industry is working on several initiatives to further reduce the cost and accelerate availability of entry-level devices, as well EV-DO mobile broadband and WorldMode TM global roaming devices. CDMA2000 is becoming the 3G technology of choice for rural markets.

More information on CDMA2000 handsets is available at A copy of the Yankee Group report on ultra-low cost devices is available at

About CDMA2000
CDMA2000 is the most widely deployed 3G technology in the world, with 152 CDMA2000 operators in 68 countries, including 37 CDMA2000 1xEV-DO systems in commercial operation. With more than 250 million subscribers, CDMA2000 controls 82 percent of the 3G market. CDMA2000 has become the technology of choice for cdmaOne™, TDMA, analog and Greenfield operators, and is deployed in the 450, 800, 1700, 1900 and 2100 MHz bands. Nearly 1,200 CDMA2000 devices are available on the market, including 280 EV-DO devices.  More information on CDMA2000 is available on the CDG Web site at

About CDG
The CDMA Development Group is a trade association formed to foster the worldwide development, implementation and use of CDMA technologies. The more than 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

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*** cdmaOne is a trademark of the CDG
*** CDMA2000 is a registered trademark of the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA-USA)
*** BREW is a registered trademark of QUALCOMM Incorporated.