Qualcomm Buys Into Mobile WiMax

Longtime WiMax basher Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM) has finally bought the capability to support the technology if it chooses. The CDMA giant has acquired the mobile WiMax capabilities of TeleCIS Wireless Inc. for an undisclosed sum.

TeleCIS is a Silicon Valley-based startup that has fixed and "portable" WiMax silicon on the market. Qualcomm has bought the firm's 802.16e development work, which forms the basis of the mobile WiMax standard. (See TeleCIS Has Portable WiMax Chip.)

"Basically what you will see is that we sold our 16e development assets to them, while TeleCIS Wireless will continue to develop and sell products based on our TCW 1620 Fixed/Portable SoC," says David Sumi, VP of Product Management and Marketing at TeleCIS in an email reply to questions.

Sumi says that TeleCIS will make an official announcement later this week about the deal.

"TeleCIS's engineering resources were acquired for their mobile broadband system knowledge and System On a Chip design experience," says a Qualcomm spokesperson. "Their knowledge and experience can contribute to multiple R&D efforts such as UMB, LTE, and other OFDM based technologies such as WiMAX."

Qualcomm has generally been fairly negative in its public comments about WiMax so far, preferring to push CDMA or Flarion as wireless broadband alternatives. (See Qualcomm Pushes OFDM.)

"We have, in the past, publicly stated that we will offer WiMax on our roadmap if there is a plausible business case, sufficient demand and volumes," the Qualcomm spokesperson says. "Should there be sufficient reasons, these engineering resources would also be able to work on WiMAX for us."

Seen in a larger context, the buyout gives Qualcomm yet more Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM) radio know-how. OFDM is the radio technology that underpins virtually all 4G networking technology and so Qualcomm is once again covering its bases with this mobile WiMax buyout.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

farpoint 12/5/2012 | 3:10:17 PM
re: Qualcomm Buys Into Mobile WiMax Um - why isn't this just the bolstering of QC's IP position that will allow it to go after the WiMAX community at some point in the future? Why would QC ever support WiMAX? WiMAX dilutes the potential market for QC's other broadband WAN activities, including Flarion. I'm not convinced QC will ever support WiMAX - although, if they do, WiMAX will really take off and likely become unstoppable.

Thx. Craig.
joset01 12/5/2012 | 3:10:15 PM
re: Qualcomm Buys Into Mobile WiMax They say they will if the market gets big enough. I guess the question is -- what's big enough for QComm?

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