Friday, October 21, 2005

In-Stat: Back to the Future

In-Stat writes in its Information Alert about both Ericsson and Nokia announcing they would support GSM450 and would have commercial solutions ready by 2006.

Allen Nogee at In-Stat writes that "Back in mid-2000, a GSM450 system was trialed in Russia. At the time, Nokia and Ericsson were both exploring GSM450 as an upgrade path for carriers that wanted to abandon their outdated analog NMT450 systems, but both companies abandoned their GSM450 plans saying that the potential market was just too small."

In the interim, CDMA450 has established itself and Nogee asks:

So now why, after CDMA450 has become so successful does Ericsson and Nokia want to jump into GSM450? For two reasons, roaming and cost. GSM450 can be added relatively cheaply to handsets that support other GSM bands, and GSM450 can add needed coverage and roaming opportunities in areas not otherwise covered by GSM. In addition, a GSM450 handset can sell for half the cost of the equivalent CDMA450 handset, which is important in developing countries. With 450 MHz spectrum available in many areas outside of the US, there are potentially many GSM450 systems that can be put in place.
Nogee notes it is an uphill battle for GSM450 because "not only is CDMA450 gaining popularity, it also supports 3G data services that GSM450 does not."