C&W Optus downplays CDMA

The emerging mobile service, CDMA may not be all its cracked up to be, a Cable & Wireless Otpus executive warned yesterday.

Paul O'Sullivan, C&W Optus director for mobile communications announced yesterday the carrier has finalised an agreement with Telstra to resell its CDMA services. The company also claimed to be the fastest growing mobile network, with a 27 per cent increase in GSM subscribers over the six months to September 1999.

Telstra's CDMA mobile network, recently rolled out to parts of Australia, is replacing the analog network, which is scheduled for clusure from December 1999"I think CDMA (code division multiple access) is dramatically misunderstood," O'Sullivan said.

"Second generation CDMA is a much less widely developed alternative to GSM."

O'Sullivan said lack of applications such as international roaming as well as unattractive handsets could affect the success of CDMA in Australia.

He said however, there were a number of positive reasons for signing the agreement with Telstra, including maintaining strong regional presence and the ability to offer customers a complete solution for their mobile requirements.

"[And] of course it will be profitable - we wouldn't do anything if it wasn't," O'Sullivan said.

C&W Optus will resell CDMA handsets from Motorola, Samsung, and Nokia.

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