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3GPP2 Not Going Quietly into
LTE’s Shadow: Where CDMA is Still Growing and Why

| Feb 15 , 2012 | Mobile Access Infrastructure
| Analyst: Ed Gubbins, Senior Analyst, Mobile Access Infrastructure

As LTE increasingly takes center stage in wireless access networks, 3GPP2 technologies find themselves in an awkward transitional state.

Even operators that are currently deploying LTE are also being forced, in many cases, to upgrade their CDMA networks significantly at the same time. LTE will take time to roll out and to take on the heavy lifting of subscriber traffic. In some cases, spectrum constraints forestall LTE deployment. In many cases LTE footprints are a mere subset of an operator’s overall network footprint. And in all cases, network traffic demands continue to rise in the wake of a growing number of smartphones and tablets, none of which are waiting for 3GPP2 to evolve into LTE.

That said, just as LTE’s rise isn’t simultaneous across the globe, CDMA’s lifespan is lumpy, pushed and pulled to varying degrees by capacity demands on one side and LTE supply on the other. As LTE’s shadow falls first across North America, for example, the CDMA market there diverges from that in Asia and other regions, leading to different strategies and opportunities in each.

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