Recent reports (here and here) that Verizon has chosen LTE as a successor technology of its current CDMA 1xEVDO Rev A. instead of UMB is likely to be a big blow for Qualcom and the CDMA industry as a whole. While the other big CDMA network operator Sprint has decided to go for WiMAX and a lot of global CDMA operators have already jumped ship and went to UMTS/HSDPA, Verizon is the latest addition to the list.
UMB, LTE and WiMAX are all ‘IP only’ technologies that strictly separate the wireless network from the applications running above. This is not only beneficial for users (as discussed here) but also allows network operators to jump ship when going to the next technology. Just as in the case of Verizon and Sprint. No UMTS operators have so far shown their interest to do the same, except for the threats of Vodafone that the LTE timeline is too slow for them and that they are looking what WiMAX can do for them. Might the tight integration of LTE into the already existing 2G/3G GSM/UMTS ecosystem keep operators at bay?
So while UMB is not dead yet, the hill they have to climb just got a lot steeper.