Euro CDMA Gathers Steam
By Carlo Longino, Fri Apr 02 19:15:00 GMT 2004

A version of CDMA operating in the 450 MHz band could threaten GSM's near-monopoly on the continent.

An interesting article over at El Reg says that operators in mainly Eastern Europe are looking at deploying CDMA450 networks to cover sparsely populated rural areas. These networks would operate in spectrum that was at one point occupied by first-generation analog Nordic Mobile Telephone networks, most (if not all) of which have been shut down.

CDMA450 doesn't have the functionality of CDMA networks operating at higher frequencies, but its signals travel far enough that it needs up to 80 percent fewer base stations to cover a given area than those networks as well. While these networks couldn't offer the roaming or interoperability that GSM offers, their users aren't likely to care.

CDMA infrastructure providers are also jumping on the bandwagon, including the top four CDMA vendors -- Lucent, Nortel, Motorola and Ericsson -- as well as Chinese firms Huawei and ZTE. The article also speculates that Nokia will get into the game as interest grows in the Nordic countries and in countries like Russia where it's pushing its low-cost GSM gear.

Eurotel Praha, which also operates a GSM network, recently announced it would launch a CDMA2000 EV-DO network, the world's first to operate in that frequency, and capable of up to 500 kbps data rates.