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UTStarcom's CDMA Play

Light Reading
LR Mobile News Analysis
Light Reading
3/23/2004

ATLANTA -- CTIA Show -- UTStarcom Inc.'s (Nasdaq: UTSI) acquisition of Hyundai Networks Inc.'s CDMA assets for about $12 million surprised some folks down here at the Georgia fair.

After all, UTStarcom is best know for fixed wireless kit it sells in developing markets like China and India, not for its limited presence in the CDMA world (see UTStarcom Raises $475M, Guidance ). That said, the company claims to have a wireless router installed in every major carrier in the world through its Commworks acquisition (see 3Com Completes CommWorks Sale).

But the way Mannish Matta, senior marketing manager for UTStarcom, explains it, the CDMA technologies it plans to focus on will fit well with its existing businesses.

"We want to address markets that are growing fast," he says, "and CDMA is a growth market."

UStarcom plans to sell CMDA 450 and evolution, data-only (EV-DO) technology to "greenfield markets" like Eastern Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East, Matta explains. The move into CDMA 450 is particularly timely, as there appears to be rather a head of steam building up behind this low-cost twist on CDMA technology (see CDMA 450 Czechs In).

UTStarcom will be taking on vendors like Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and Nortel Networks Corp. (NYSE/Toronto: NT) in these emerging markets.

It's still going to be tough," says Matta. He expects the company to realize revenue from the CDMA venture in the second half of 2005.

— Dead Butch Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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