Thu Dec 15, 2005 2:53 PM ET
HELSINKI (Reuters) - Siemens (SIEGn.DE: Quote, Profile, Research) believes North American telecoms operators could shift to the GSM mobile standard from the rival CDMA system, a senior company executive said in an interview published on Thursday.
"Latin America is already moving from CDMA technologies to GSM," Christoph Catselitz, the head of Siemens AG's mobile networks business told Finnish business daily Taloussanomat.
"I would not bet on North America continuing with CDMA."
CDMA (code division multiple access) technology was invented by San Diego-based Qualcomm (QCOM.O: Quote, Profile, Research) and the company delivers virtually all chips needed in CDMA networks and mobile phones used by some 500 million consumers mostly in the Americas and Asia.
The rival European-invented Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM) has 1.6 billion users globally, according to the GSM Association.
"CDMA is losing market share globally as the new mobile phone users live mostly in the areas where GSM is the leading technology," Catselitz was quoted as saying.
Catselitz said Siemens aims to grow its network infrastructure services operation faster than the market grows. It has 80 deals with operators in 50 countries.
Among the markets the company is active in is China, which he said could issue third generation (3G) licenses in several stages, starting early next year.
"I believe China's 3G licenses will be given in the early part of 2006, it could be the first quarter," he said.
China is expected to spend more than $10 billion to set up its 3G networks after licenses are awarded, widely expected to be in the first half of 2006.