Thursday, November 05, 2015

CDMA Sunset - Across the Globe CDMA Networks Shutting Down

As technology grows, old ones become obsolete and new ones are welcomed. Same is happening with CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access). The death of CDMA was filed a long ago in 2008 when Qualcomm, the company behind CDMA stopped R&D on UMB - the next of CDMA family favoring LTE as future.

Worldwide CDMA is not well accepted, though everyone knows about its advantages as a data platform. CDMA is well received and commercially popular in few countries like United States, Canada, South Korea, Russia, India, Australia, China, Indonesia, Nigeria and others. In most contries CDMA is deployed (on 800 or 450 Mhz band) for other uses like emergency services, military communications, M2M services. 


In Canada there were several CDMA players - top 4 has already made plans to wind up CDMA. Here operators want to free up CDMA spectrum for deploying LTE. First they cut EVDO - so that data users move to LTE, and then CDMA 1x will be phased out in time so that voice customers get time to migrate.

Operator Name Started by Shut down process Notes
MTS Canada 2002 CDMA shut down process started in March, 2014.
EVDO shut down in July 2015.
Complete shut down by end of 2016.
Bell Mobility 2002 EVDO shut down in July 2015.
Complete CDMA shut down by early 2017.
SaskTel 2003 EVDO shut down in September 2014.
Complete CDMA shut down by 2015-16
Telus 2002 CDMA shut down process started in May 2014.
Complete shutdown planned by end of 2015.


In Indonesia the whole thing happened because govt. wants to free up 850 MHz band for 4G/LTE deployment.

Operator Name Started by Shut down process Notes
Telkom (Flexi) 2002 Complete shut down by end of 2015. Users asked to migrate to Telkomsel (GSM arm of parent company)
Sampoerna Telecom Probabaly in 2010-11.
SmartFren Active Smart Telecom (Smart) and Mobile8 (Fren) was merged to form SmartFren – the only surviving CDMA player. Smartfren has its own CDMA handset initiative, 'AndroMax'.
Bakrie (esia) [MVNO on Smartofren] Status – unknown.
It has stopped in sale selling devices.
Indostat (StarOne) FWP was stopped in June 2015.

MetroPCS, Rock Wireless, Leap Wireless (Cricket) - shut down
Verizon is all set to shut down CDMA by end of 2019. From the middle of 2018 Verizon will not activate any device without LTE. 
Sprint is yet to declare any deadline, but committed to provide CDMA 2G/3G services (1X and EvDo) til 2021. 





Network Status
Reliance Mobile CDMA Operational
Voice & data
1x, RevA, RevB
Shut down started from June 2016. Users are being migrated to Reliance GSM and eventually these users will get access to Reliance 4G/Jio 4G as both companies to share spectrums.
Tata Docomo CDMA Operational
1x, RevA, RevB
Tata Tele is all set to merge with Airtel in future, and as the merger happens in time airtel will judiciously stop Tata Docomo CDMA and refarm the precious 800MHz spectrum for LTE deployment.
BSNL CDMA Operational in selected circles
Voice & data
1x, RevA
BSNL has returned CDMA spectrum and shut down services in majority of circles. For eg. Kolkata lost BSNL CDMA services by March 2016.
Ping Mobile Status unknown
Ping Mobile is now engulfed by Videocon Mobile (GSM). The website went down. Most users might be shifted to Videocon GSM. We can guess that only FWP may be live.
However as Videocon Mobile was shut down by selling their assets including spectrum, it's obvious that Ping Mobile is shut down completely.
MTNL CDMA Operational in Delhi & Mumbai
Voice and data - 1x only
Shut down 
Virgin Mobile CDMA Brand has been stopped, now sold as Tata Docomo only.
MTS India Operational
Voice and data
1x, RevA,RevB
MTS India the brand of SSTL was acquired by RCOM and it is final to shut down CDMA services of MTS by December 31, 2017
Vodafone Netcruise MTS RevA rebranded data cards Stopped 

** The blue contents were updated in December 2017. 


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