Nokia Will Make Microsoft Windows Phone 7 a Powerhouse-Outside of the U.S.
News Analysis: Outside of the United States, Nokia is a major player in the wireless landscape; its phones are ubiquitous. This may prove to be a decisive advantage for Microsoft as the two companies strive to make Windows Phone 7 a top player in the global wireless market.In the world of mobile communications, the world is divided into two basic places: the United States and everywhere else. While I hate to think of this as an Us versus Them situation, that's actually what it is. The reason ultimately boils down to relatively little competition in the way phones are sold in the United States, and in how wireless companies operate. In the United States, for example, you see a nearly even divide between CDMA and GSM phones. Outside of North America, CDMA hardly exists. Just about everyone uses GSM, the frequencies are mostly compatible, and the carriers don't have nearly the leverage on handset selection as they do in the U.S.
Visit a mobile phone store outside the U.S., for example, and you'll find phones, but you'll find either no carrier presence at all or you'll find that the store will carry SIM cards for several carriers. While the carriers do have their own phone stores, they don't have the dominance that they have in the U.S. Even the process of adding money to your SIM card is divorced from the carriers. When I was in Germany covering CeBIT, I added money to my German T-Mobile SIM card by going to the Shell service station across the street from my hotel.