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A New Title for a New Era

By Vaughan O’Grady, Editor

For this reason, it’s something of a pleasure to be able to say that the wireless communications industry really has injected some genuine cause for excitement into the predictable millennial overstatement. The Ericsson-Qualcomm agreement has finally allowed the industry to move forward to the next wireless generation. Fears that CDMA2000 would be sidelined or steamrollered by a powerful GSM lobby have largely been assuaged. And the massive investment from both the industry—and a growing number of cdmaOne end-users (30 million and counting)—will not be wasted.

The 1999 CDMA World Congress is perfectly timed to reflect the optimism and desire for continued cooperation evident throughout the wireless industry. It’s true that a number of issues still need to be resolved, among them chip rate harmonization and the development of reasonably priced handsets that can accommodate all 2G and 3G modes and standards. However, the willingness to move forward demonstrated by both CDMA2000 and WCDMA proponents is both admirable in itself and offers hope that any future issues can now be resolved by negotiation rather than stonewalling.

It looks like we can look forward to a whole new wireless world—more precisely, a whole new CDMA world. Hence the new title for what was formerly cdmaSpectrum. However, CDMA World (or, in the case of our annual directory issue, CDMA World Focus) is more than just a new name.

Until now, our emphasis had been firmly on cdmaOne: it was, after all, the single most successful commercialization of CDMA, the technology of choice in Korea, dominant in the US and a growing force in Japan, Australia and, more recently, China. Not only that but it was a strong player in the global wireless local loop market. Now, however, it seems likely that the historic Ericsson-Qualcomm agreement will hasten the introduction of other, next generation, versions of CDMA onto the market.

cdmaOne’s progress in Asia and the WLL market is assessed in this issue. So too, is the development of its 3G future as CDMA2000—but that’s not all. For the first time, we have invited a major name in GSM to discuss evolution to other 3G CDMA standards.

This, we feel, will only be the start. Code division multiple access is the air interface approach of choice for future systems, and our coverage will reflect this. We will also be taking an occasional look at lesser-known and proprietary systems to reflect more completely the influence of CDMA—hence our more inclusive new magazine title.

But our main future emphasis will be on the leading 2G standard, cdmaOne, and the proposed and evolving third generation CDMA standards which will lead the market drives of the future. In this way, we aim to reflect, report on and we hope, be part of, the most exciting wireless developments of this millennium—and the next.