Sequans Gets a Break With Clearwire 4G Deal

NEW ORLEANS -- International CTIA Wireless -- Chipmaker Sequans Communications revealed Monday that it will work with Clearwire LLC (Nasdaq: CLWR) to develop devices for the wholesaler's upcoming 4G network.

It's a ray of hope for the chip company after Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) stopped pushing WiMax smartphones that use its silicon.

Clearwire is developing a 4G network, using Long Term Evolution Time Division Duplex (LTE TDD) technology, that it claims will be the fastest in the U.S. The operator is aiming to have initial networks up in 31 cities by June 2013.

Sequans and Clearwire will collaborate on the development of devices that support both its new network and existing Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology. Time-division networks use one synchronized channel for upstream and downstream signals, rather than the more common frequency division (FDD) LTE technology, which uses two channels separated by a guard band. TDD is well suited for the bursty nature of data traffic, whereas FDD lends itself to voice calls. (See Just What Is LTE TDD Anyway?)

Initial devices are expected in 2013.

Why this matters
The Clearwire deal could be good news longer term for Sequans, which had an initial public offering in April 2011, only to have one of its main customers -- Sprint -- move away from WiMax smartphones in favor of a soon-to-arrive LTE network. The wording of this latest deal suggests that devices will work on both Clearwire's version of LTE and the more traditional kind that is being deployed by Sprint. (See Sprint's LTE Evo Has HD Talk, No WiMax.)

Sequans shareholders are, however, not impressed yet. The stock is down by 2.69 percent, or $0.06, to $2.17 in Monday trading.

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— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

joset01 12/5/2012 | 5:33:54 PM
re: Sequans Gets a Break With Clearwire 4G Deal

Seems like, only makes sense that multi-mode LTE devices will work on Sprint's PCS LTE (FDD two-channel) and offload when in faster Clearwire (TDD) cities right? Or am I reading too much into it?

digits 12/5/2012 | 5:33:52 PM
re: Sequans Gets a Break With Clearwire 4G Deal

Certainly a lack of enthusiasm from Sequans shareholders -- maybe investors want to see orders hit the books before they get excited.

joset01 12/5/2012 | 5:33:51 PM
re: Sequans Gets a Break With Clearwire 4G Deal

Yeah, Sequans really hasn't much luck yet as a public company. If we're looking at June 2013 as a possible launch date than orders should start to hit by Q1 I would guess...

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