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Starcomms moves prepaid roaming between CDMA and GSM

The drive behind the project is to provide Starcomms’ more than three million prepaid CDMA customers with access to international mobile roaming on GSM networks

Nigerian mobile operators Starcomms claimed a world first, with the announcement that it has completed a prepaid inter-standard roaming call between GSM and CDMA networks.

Running a CDMA network, Starcomms is one of the smaller mobile operators in Nigeria with 1.77 million subscribers at the end of June, however the company also provides fixed wireless services and has a total user base of around 3.2 million. The market leaders are MTN with 35 million, Globacom with 18 million and Zain with 15 million subscribers.

But the drive behind this latest project is to provide Starcomms’ more than three million prepaid CDMA customers with access to international mobile roaming on GSM networks, expanding Starcomms’ international network coverage.

The Nigerian carrier contracted OSS/BSS vendor Mach and roaming solutions provider Accuris Networks to deliver the platform, which made the prepaid inter-standard roaming call on to an international GSM network possible.

“More than 90 per cent of mobile subscriptions in the CDMA world today (excluding the USA) are pre-paid and typically these subscribers cannot and do not normally roam,” said Guy Dubois, president and CEO of Mach. “By successfully demonstrating the first pre-paid roaming call across two wholly disparate technologies, CDMA and GSM, we have taken the first step towards opening up this vast untapped market for mobile operators.”

Informa Telecoms & Media’s own statistics estimate that around 184 million of the world’s 475 million CDMA users were on prepaid tariffs at the end of June and agree on the difficulties with roaming described by Dubois.


3 comments

  1. zubairu 11/08/2010 @ 10:48 pm

    Its really a great step in telecommunication history. Starcomms, you are making the history!!

  2. Agbalugo Sunday 04/09/2010 @ 10:57 am

    This is really innovative I hope other CDMA operators will follow suit.

  3. from_row2 08/09/2010 @ 6:59 pm

    I don’t agree with “More than 90 per cent of mobile subscriptions in the CDMA world today (excluding the USA) are pre-paid and typically these subscribers cannot and do not normally roam,” said Guy Dubois, president and CEO of Mach.” If you exclude Japan and the USA, then I’ll agree.

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