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CDG Supports CDMA Wireless 1900 MHZ in India

23rd August ,2004

US : The CDMA Development Group has filed comments with the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommending that the PCS1900 spectrum be allocated to CDMA operators to ensure that CDMA is allowed to co-exist and compete on a fair basis with other wireless standards in India.

“The CDG commends India for its leadership in adopting policies that promote the use of wireless technologies in expanding the reach of telecommunication services and implementing advanced services in the market,” said Perry LaForge, executive director of the CDMA Development Group. “With the introduction of the Unified License, CDMA has thrived in India and has greatly contributed to the expansion of wireless services in the past year. We hope that TRAI will continue to promote policies that embrace the concepts of technology neutrality and spectrum flexibility to ensure the long-term growth of mobile services in India.”

As of July 2004, CDMA technology served more than 10 million subscribers across India. CDMA services have created competition, lowered tariffs and allowed many citizens access to communication services for the first time. However, the spectrum allocated to CDMA operators in the regions is roughly half of that allocated to other technologies and is not enough to support even the minimum capacity projections required over the next two years for voice services only.

As no additional spectrum available in 800 MHz remains to accommodate CDMA operators, PCS1900 spectrum should be made available to them. CDMA 1900 MHz systems are deployed in nearly 60 markets worldwide, and large markets like North America and Latin America have CDMA systems that operate in both the 800 MHz and 1900 MHz bands, in many cases by the same operator. As such, the infrastructure and handsets supporting both bands are widely available and would allow Indian operators a seamless integration path for their existing 800 MHz infrastructure, as well as the benefit from economies of scale to deploy integrated 800MHz/1900MHz services rapidly.

Spectrum in the 1800 MHz band is not a viable option for CDMA carriers in India. There are no CDMA systems operating in this band, nor are there dual band handsets or network equipment available for both the 800 MHz and 1800 MHz bands. Indian operators would have to wait years before the appropriate systems and devices were available to offer service, and even then they would be uniquely developed for the Indian region and therefore very expensive.

“Policies that allow for co-existence of multiple technologies and in-band migration to 3G services have resulted in rapid growth in mobile penetration and faster deployment of advanced wireless services in many markets across the world, including Asia, Latin America and North America,” said LaForge. “The CDG urges TRAI to ensure that enough spectrum is available to all carriers to support growth and stimulate continued innovation and competition. The CDG strongly believes that it is essential that spectrum in the 1900 MHz band be allocated to CDMA operators to ensure that they participate in and contribute to the development of the wireless market in India.”

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