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4G/3G/WiFi

Qualcomm vs. Verizon

3:20 PM -- Have you noticed that Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM) and Verizon Wireless are giving two fairly different time-frames for when Long Term Evolution (LTE) phones will be commercially available?

Verizon has consistently said that it will have LTE-capable phones in the first half of 2011. While Qualcomm is expecting LTE smartphones on the market towards the end of next year. (See Qualcomm Plots 1.5GHz Tablet Processor and CTIA 2010: The LTE Smartphone Scramble.)

The discrepancy may be because Qualcomm is using its own chipsets as the baseline, while Verizon is sourcing phones from vendors like Samsung Corp. for LTE. Samsung seems to have got ahead of the curve on LTE phone chipset development. It is promising its first LTE handset -- the "Craft" -- sometime this month in the US. (See MetroPCS LTE Net May Launch in September.)

Nonetheless, it will be worth watching to see how the LTE device roadmap shapes up in 2011. These schedules have a habit of slipping, as we saw with Clearwire LLC (Nasdaq: CLWR) and Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S)'s early talk about WiMax phones. (See CTIA: Clearwire Talks Android & More.) — Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

joset01 12/5/2012 | 4:24:20 PM
re: Qualcomm vs. Verizon

Weren't LG & HTC working on LTE chips too?

bbiswas 12/5/2012 | 4:24:19 PM
re: Qualcomm vs. Verizon

I heard from Verizon (from one of the LTE conference) that Verizon planning to start LTE trial in Boston area starting next month. I have not heard anything further about this. May be it is Verizon's wishful thinking to compete against AT&T.

joset01 12/5/2012 | 4:24:18 PM
re: Qualcomm vs. Verizon

They already have a test site in Boston. Its possible that they could go commercial in November. Likely to launch with data cards rather than phones though.

Simon_Stanley 12/5/2012 | 4:24:17 PM
re: Qualcomm vs. Verizon

While Qualcomm is the highest profile smartphone chipset vendor it is not the only player and the competition are turning up the heat for LTE.


Multimode devices supporting LTE and 3G will be available from several vendors during 2011. ST-Ericsson and Icera have multimode chipsets in development and have demonstrated LTE solutions. Intel is acquiring the Infineon wireless group but also quietly acquired the assets of Israel-based WiMAX chipset vendor ComSys Mobile that was developing a very capable multimode LTE baseband device.


LTE chipsets are covered in the current Heavy Reading Components Insider: LTE Chip Makers Ramp Up Production to Meet Demand.

kaps 12/5/2012 | 4:24:15 PM
re: Qualcomm vs. Verizon

Simon, any visibility on what the IP/royalties scenario looks like for LTE chips? Does Qualcomm hold the best cards there?

kaps 12/5/2012 | 4:24:15 PM
re: Qualcomm vs. Verizon

Simon, any visibility on what the IP/royalties scenario looks like for LTE chips? Does Qualcomm hold the best cards there?

Simon_Stanley 12/5/2012 | 4:24:13 PM
re: Qualcomm vs. Verizon

I don't have any specific insight on the IP/royalties scenario for LTE chips however none of the vendors I have talked to see that as a major issue. The biggest challenge for vendors is supporting 2G and 3G as well as LTE.

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