China Telecom, KDDI and Verizon Wireless all use CDMA today because when they deployed their networks, CDMA offered superior voice quality and data speeds. Earlier this century UMTS came, then a few years later HSPA became the golden standard in Europe and Asia. America is getting there, but it’s taking some time; blame AT&T.
But now it’s time to upgrade, time to switch to the next generation of technology. Technically neither LTE nor WiMAX are officially 4G technologies, but for the sake of discussion let’s say they are. China Telecom, KDDI and Verizon Wireless are going to retool their networks to support LTE and because of that they’ve all announced today that they’re joining the GSMA, also known as the group that invented the GSM standard in 1982.
80% of the world uses GSM technology, and with these 3 operators joining that bandwagon, that number is only going to go up.