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CDMA DOMINATES ULTRA LOW-COST HANDSET MARKET IN INDIA

Yankee Group report also cites low-cost CDMA handsets as key driver towards increasing teledensity in the region

COSTA MESA, CALIF. — March 19, 2008 — The CDMA Development Group (CDG) today announced that, based on a Yankee Group study, CDMA dominates the ultra low-cost handset (ULCH) market in India. Research also suggests that the availability of low-cost CDMA handsets has been a key driver towards increasing teledensity in the region. The Yankee Group study, entitled “CDMA Imports Driving Ultra Low-Cost Handsets in India: Price Trending Analysis,” is available now on the CDG Web site: www.cdg.org/technology/3g/resource/yankeegrp_ultralowhandsets.asp.

“Availability of low-cost CDMA handsets changed the competitive landscape in India,” said BV Raman, CDG’s representative in India. “In India and other parts of the globe, this healthy competition is making wireless telecommunications more affordable and is contributing not only to CDMA’s rapid expansion but increasing teledensity worldwide. Given CDMA’s aggressive and highly economical evolution path, the strength of the ULCH market has positioned CDMA2000® operators to benefit from the Indian government’s imminent spectrum allocation for 3G.”

The Yankee Group report, based on comprehensive import data from Indian government sources between January and October 2007, made a number of key findings:

  • 62% of all handsets imported into India were below $50
  • 78% of all sub-$50 imports were CDMA models from 13 vendors
  • 94% of CDMA imports were below $50
  • Total CDMA import volumes exceed GSM by a margin of 52% to 48%.
  • The average selling price (ASP) for all imported CDMA handsets is 68% lower than the GSM market average on average over the period, the cost of CDMA handsets across the entire device portfolio is $72 less than GSM.

The Yankee Group also determined that India’s total mobile teledensity has increased as a result of the availability and variety of CDMA ULCHs from multiple vendors. According to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), GSM and CDMA subscriber bases grew 13.4% and 12.12% respectively in Q3, 2007. The TRAI data indicates an increasing growth rate for CDMA subscribers, up from 10.05% in the previous quarter.

“A number of factors including, but not limited to service provider competition, service quality, brand affinity, effective marketing and distribution, device vendor competition, increasing per-capita GDP, and general demand factors including choice, are driving growth,” commented John Jackson, vice president of Yankee Group’s Enabling Technologies Group. “CDMA has helped create this healthy growth environment. Trending in the data analyzed is clear. We expect CDMA handsets to continue dominating the low cost market for the foreseeable future.”

Low-cost CDMA handset pricing is not limited to India. More than 82 very low-end (VLE) CDMA2000 handsets (under $50 USD wholesale) are available globally from 19 suppliers in highly competitive emerging markets such as Bangladesh, China, Ghana, Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Venezuela. Very low-cost CDMA handsets are also becoming available in developed markets with the debut of the “Cricket EZ” handset sold by Cricket Communications in the United States for $49.99 a trend which will rapidly transform the wireless industry.

More information on CDMA is available at www.cdg.org.

About CDMA2000
CDMA2000 is the most widely deployed 3G technology, with 252 operators in 100 countries, including 82 CDMA2000 1xEV-DO systems, serving more than 417 million subscribers. Counting 2G cdmaOne™ subscribers, there are more than 431 million CDMA users worldwide. CDMA2000 has become the technology of choice for developed and emerging market operators, and is deployable in the 450, 700, 800, 1700, 1900, AWS and 2100 MHz bands. More than 1,900 CDMA2000 devices from over 110 suppliers have been introduced to the market, including 509 EV-DO and 48 Rev. A devices. More information on CDMA2000 is available on the CDG Web site at www.cdg.org.

About CDG
The CDMA Development Group is a trade association formed to foster the worldwide development, implementation and use of CDMA2000 technologies. The more than 130 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 CDMA2000 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 CDMA2000-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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Note to editors
cdmaOne is a registered trademark of the CDMA Development Group. CDMA2000 is a registered trademark of the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA-USA). All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.