Qualcomm pushes CDMA to Africa

5 Apr 2005

US CDMA pioneer Qualcomm is ramping up its attempts to promote its CDMA-based 3G technology in Africa following the successful completion of a CDMA2000 1xEV-DO trial in South Africa. Qualcomm teamed up with San Diego-based US software management company Inetcam to display EV-DO’s live audio and video streaming capabilities, including real-time security monitoring and distance learning services. Qualcomm placed particular emphasis on EV-DO’s inter-system roaming flexibility as it attempts to convince the country’s GSM-based operators of its CDMA technology. It is unlikely to convince South Africa’s leading cellco Vodacom, which became only the second African operator to launch 3G services when it rolled out a W-CDMA network in December last year, though rivals MTN and Cell C are both planning to launch UMTS services sometime in 2005-06 and could yet be converted to the CDMA cause. Additionally, with the market still awaiting the promised entrance of a fourth player – the Econet Wireless and Altech joint venture Newco – there is still time for Qualcomm to secure a foothold for its technology in the country.

South Africa, Cell C, MTN South Africa