CDMA Takes 50% North American Market Share
Published on: 17th Jul 2007
Note -- this news article is more than a year old.
The importance of CDMA to the North American market continued to increase in Q1 2007, with customers using the technology accounting for more than 50% of the total customer base for the first time by the end of the period. During the first quarter, the number of CDMA customers increased 3.9% to 129.5m taking the technology's overall proportionate contribution from 49.5% to 50.3%. The proportion of the total for which GSM accounts has also been increasing consistently, but not as quickly, the gain amounting to only 0.2pp in Q1 2007, and 2pp in the year ending 31st March 2007.
At the end of Q1 2007 GSM customers made up 38.5% of the North American total. Including the continent's nascent W-CDMA networks operated by AT&T in the United States and Rogers in Canada, this proportion rises to 38.8%, up 2.3pp in the year. CDMA2000 remains the overwhelmingly dominant 3G technology in North America, with all but 5.4m of the CDMA base using the more modern variant at the end of Q1 2007. Of the 124m customers using CDMA2000 technology, just over 30m were EV-DO enabled.
Elsewhere in the North American technology market, iDEN customers declined in number in absolute terms for the second quarter running - perhaps an indicator of a gradual shift in strategy at SprintNextel, iDEN?s main exponent in the region (and the world). At the end of Q1 2007, iDEN customers made up 8.4% of the North American total, down from 9.4% a year earlier. The remaining part of the customer base comprised AMPS/TDMA users, whose numbers have dwindled dramatically in recent times. Just under 6.5m users of the original American standard remained at the end of Q1 2007, less than half the number counted at the end of Q1 2006.
Rogers Wireless became the first North American operator to shut down its AMPS/TDMA network altogether at the end of May 2007, although we believe that similar such moves by providers south of the border are a while away yet.