VISAFONE has announced readiness to comply with the CDMA Development Group’’s (CDG) Open Market Handset, OMH initiative. This would probably make it the first operator in Africa to do so.

The company is going into this phase of development in its network, in cooperation with Qualcomm Incorporated.

Going OMH would prepare Visafone to offer SIM cards that can be purchased separately from handsets, thus offering subscribers more freedom of choice between selecting a handset. As an OMH-compliant operator,
Visafone will support OMH devices that will be sold across the entire CDMA ecosystem.

OMH is a CDG initiative that opens distribution channels and increases CDMA device variety. It aims to do so by separating a subscriber’s decision to buy a handset and a decision to buy an OMH SIM card from their preferred CDMA services provider.

Visafone’s network now allows subscribers to continue utilizing their existing data services when they switch handsets and helps to increase handset availability by optimizing distribution channels.

Subscribers can now walk into a mobile phone shop and purchase an OMH handset and separately purchase a SIM card from their preferred OMH-enabled operator, knowing that their data services will be supported by other OMH handsets.

It promised that OMH handsets, already available in India, are expected to be in Nigeria in the first half of 2010.

Mr. R. Balachandran, Managing Director and CEO of Visafone, stated: that OMH increases CDMA handset variety, as it creates a framework where vendors can distribute handsets across many different markets.


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