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CDMA will mysteriously catch GSM, says report

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Good news and bad news for the CDMA camp. According to a study from Forward Concepts released today, GSM will remain the dominant world standard until at least 2003, but by that point cdmaOne revenues will be real close. The study, Wireless99, was written for Forward Concepts by Micrologic Research, and says the GSM market will grow from $15.5 billion in 1999 to $24.5 billion in 2003, a compound annual growth rate of 12.1 per cent. Over the same period the cdmaOne cellular market will grow from $3.5 billion to $20.4 billion, compound growth of 55.9 per cent. Why this should be is not entirely clear. Nor is it entirely obvious why TDMA revenues, which the report puts at $1.4 billion for 1999, will grow to only $3.5 billion by 2003. Nor indeed why TDMA, whose proponents reasonably place it as the number two world standard, should be producing less than half the revenue of cdmaOne by next year. Damned expensive these CDMA handsets, obviously. Meanwhile a retaliatory strike by the North American GSM Alliance, whose chairman Don Warkentin tells us: "GSM operators were the first to provide all digital wireless data services throughout their entire deployed networks." If this is the best the Alliance can do in terms of achievements, it's in real trouble. GSM networks are digital by definition, right? So it's scarcely a surprise. Don also tells us that GSM has more than 100 million customers in over 110 countries and, way, way down at the bottom of the announcement, the grisly truth. "The GSM Alliance [provides] wireless communications for more than 2 million customers." So we're not really hitting the spot in the US then, are we? ® Click for more stories

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