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Small cells

Broadcom Spotted at Femto Forum

Broadcom Corp. (Nasdaq: BRCM) is listed as a member of Femto Forum Ltd. , the industry organization for the home base station market.

While membership in the femto industry group does not in any way verify a femto chip product plan at Broadcom, the news does indicate that the company wants to be involved in, or at least keep an eye on, this emerging mobile broadband networking technology. The company is listed among the Forum's members here.

Broadcom has been a member of the Forum since the end of last year, according to an industry source.

Indeed, Broadcom may have already made its first move into the femto space: Light Reading Mobile reported in November that a "mystery buyer" had snapped up the femto assets of RadioFrame Networks Inc. , and industry sources say that buyer was Broadcom. But Broadcom has neither confirmed that acquisition nor acknowledged that it has a femto strategy. (See Broadcom's Still Mum on Femtocells, RadioFrame's Mystery Femto Buyer, and RadioFrame Exits Femtocell Biz.)

Broadcom isn't the only new chipset maker on the femto scene. Freescale Semiconductor Inc. is also a new member of the Forum.

The interest from the likes of Broadcom and Freescale, as well as the presence of Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM) in the market, will certainly make life more interesting for femto chip specialists Picochip and Percello Ltd. (See CTIA 2010: Qualcomm Snags First Femto Wins, Qualcomm, ZTE Do CDMA2000 Femtos, Qualcomm Powers AirWalk Femtos, Qualcomm Dishes New Femto Details, and CTIA: Qualcomm Bosses Think Small for LTE .)

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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