iPhone 5 is going to be a dual mode device capable of working on both GSM and CDMA networks, said TechCrunch citing credible evidence.
World Phone capability, as the dual mode support is called, will be useful for people who travel abroad a lot. GSM is the more popular network worldwide and therefore it becomes a problem for people carrying a CDMA-only phone as they have to change phones while traveling in countries where there are no CDMA networks.
There are an increasing number of world phones in the market from manufacturers like Motorola, BlackBerry and HTC. These phones have either two SIM slots with one for CDMA (Motorola Milestone XT800), or support both networks with just one SIM slot (BlackBerry 8830 world edition).
Even dongles with dual mode support are expected to be launched soon in India — MTS is offering one while other CDMA operators are also expected to follow suit given the benefits.
In India, where none of the operators have managed to get nationwide coverage, Tata Teleservices and Reliance Communications have nationwide high speed EVDO (CDMA) networks. Tata Teleservices’ nine and RCom’s 13 3G circles will benefit the most from World Phone capability as they will be able to offer nationwide roaming to high speed data users.
However, the problem is that both these operators seem to have given up on CDMA networks, and aren’t putting much effort although some reports suggest that they are investing in upgrading their CDMA network to Rev-B which will give them the ability to offer up to 14 Mbps data speeds on their CDMA network. A Qualcomm executive had confirmed the same to The Mobile Indian without naming the operator or the city. If that is the case they will definitely be looking at using World Phones to make CDMA more attractive.
CDMA technology is claimed to be better than GSM as far as data rates and spectrum efficiency are concerned. Also, it offers better indoor penetration (meaning coverage) as it works on lower bandwidth.
Another benefit of World Phone is the lower data cost on CDMA networks without compromise in the ability to change operators. In fact, World Phone users have wider choice as they can choose between CDMA and GSM operators.