CDMA players plan to form international roaming hub

Written by Rachana Khanzode | Mumbai | Updated: Jun 2 2009, 04:49am hrs
In a bid to boost the CDMA operators across the globe, the CDMA Development Group (CDG) plans to form an international roaming hub in conjunction with a roaming service provider. International roaming has been a concern with the CDMA and GSM service providers, as currently, they need to form bilateral agreements with every other operator to facilitate roaming.

Perry M LaForge, chair and executive director, CDG says, The hub will facilitate the telecom operators to form multilateral agreements using routers with other operators across the globe and bring connectivity to subscribers on roaming. The roaming hubs or international routers will be commercially launched in the month of June in regions such as Americas, Africa and other places. Technically, the roaming hubs will be large routers that will provide access to multiple networks and operators worldwide with a single agreement with the router operator. James S Person, COO, CDG, says, The issue was not addressed in the past because the CDMA operators didnt put it as a priority. But now, as there are over 300 CDMA operators across 100 countries with 500 million subscribers and so it is the right time. The CDMA operators in India crossed the 100 million subscribers mark recently. Person expects the CDMA operators in India to cross the next 100 million mark in the next 2-3 years.

Speaking on Indian CDMA telecom operators going ahead with GSM, Person said, The previous spectrum allocation policy in India that depends on number of subscribers, has forced the telecos in India to look at this option. We expect the 3G spectrum allocation to be fair and transparent.

According to Person, the next wave of growth for the CDMA operators is expected to come from countries like Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand. Indonesia currently has 50 million CDMA subscribers with 6 CDMA operators and its total population is just 200 million. So we expect the next wave of growth to come from these countries. The CDG has also been taking initiatives to reduce costs of the mobile handsets. The focus to reduce costs for mid-term and high-term mobile handset has been going on. The open market handsets initiative taken by CDG will further enable manufacturers to bring the costs down, said LaForge.