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CDPD wireless service providers: Is this the end?

We are a leasing company that owns and leases a number of wireless POS terminals that use CDPD protocol to communicate with the credit card processors. It is our understanding that the two major providers of this service, AT&T Wireless and Verizon, have announced their intention to terminate the service over the next 18 months.

We are interested in learning as much as we can about this change so that we can assess the consequences to our merchant customers and to the future of the wireless terminal business.

Can you provide some guidance or refer me to some sources where I might research the problem?

AT&T Wireless, one of the companies that helped define CDPD, plans to discontinue its CDPD wireless service in mid-2004. Verizon, the only other major CDPD provider, plans to discontinue service by the end of 2005.

From what I read, one of the problems is that equipment suppliers have stopped manufacturing CDPD network parts due to low demand, leaving carriers like AT&TWS and Verizon in a lurch when it comes to maintaining their CDPD networks. AT&TWS is transitioning CDPD customers over to GPRS, a new 3G wireless service that offers higher speeds and presumably more business opportunity for carriers, which translates into greater market demand for equipment.

To learn more about why this is happening and how it will affect CDPD customers, check out these articles:


As you transition from CDPD to a 3G service like GPRS, expect to spend money on new equipment and to pay more for faster wireless services. This of course is not good news for those invested in CDPD technology, but there seems to be little you can do about it. One thing you can do is to start planning your transition now and avoid additional investment in CDPD client devices. I hope these resources provide a good starting point.

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