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Nokia sets up CDMA center in India

Growing popularity of CDMA-based cell phones in India and other Asia-Pacific regions prompts the Finnish handset maker to focus on the standard.

Handset giant Nokia on Wednesday announced a new research center in India that will focus on the Code Division Multiple Access standard for cell phones.

The facility, located in the city of Mumbai, will provide software and technical support to the growing number of CDMA customers in India and other countries in the Asia-Pacific. The center will serve as Nokia's premier CDMA research hub. CDMA is the most popular standard used in cell phones in the United States, but many countries in the Asia-Pacific region also have begun to embrace it.

Nokia also announced it will release a new CDMA phone, the Nokia 2112, in India. The company said the new handset, built around Nokia's proprietary CDMA2000 1X chipset, will be available by the third quarter of this year. The phone features an integrated hands-free speaker, MIDI polyphonic ring tones and picture messaging.

CDMA has been gaining ground against the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) standard, which is more popular in Europe. One attraction of CDMA technology is that, unlike many competing technologies, it has no hard limit for the number of users who may share one base station. CDMA networks operate in the 800MHz and 1900MHz frequency bands with primary markets in the Americas and Asia.

Disparate standards such as GSM and CDMA have been creating obstacles in the telecom business. Competing standards and interoperability problems could slow the growth of popular services, such as push-to-talk, that are gaining acceptance among carriers around the world.