CTIA 2010: Qualcomm Snags First Femto Wins

Qualcomm claims a developer agreement with ZTE for 3G CDMA femtocells, and other customer announcements are on the way

Michelle Donegan, Contributing Editor, Light Reading

March 23, 2010

2 Min Read
CTIA 2010: Qualcomm Snags First Femto Wins

LAS VEGAS -- International CTIA WIRELESS 2010 -- Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM) revealed today that it has racked up the first customer wins for its femtocell chipset, as it announced a development agreement with ZTE Corp. (Shenzhen: 000063; Hong Kong: 0763).

ZTE is not Qualcomm's first femto customer, however, and others are due to be announced in the next few weeks, according to Nick Karter, senior director of business development at Qualcomm Flarion Technologies. The new announcements will be for CDMA and well as UMTS femtocell developments.

The news of Qualcomm's first femto customers is important for the fledgling home base stations, because the arrival of the San Diego-based chipmaker into the market could change the look of the femto landscape, which has been dominated on the silicon side by Picochip and startups like Percello Ltd. (See Qualcomm Firms Up Femto Plans, CTIA: Qualcomm Bosses Think Small for LTE , and Qualcomm Does Femtos.)

Qualcomm has been involved with femtos for some time through a strategic investment in AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T)'s femto supplier, ip.access Ltd. It is thought that Qualcomm's femto platform could be used as a stepping stone to providing silicon for multimedia gateways. (See Qualcomm Invests in ip.access.)

Qualcomm's Femtocells Station Modem chipset is configurable to either CDMA or UMTS 3G standards. Initial samples will be available soon, and commercial samples will be available at the end of this year. (See Qualcomm Dishes New Femto Details.)

ZTE plans to target the Chinese and North American markets with its 3G CDMA femto products. CDMA operator Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) claimed last year that it would be the first operator in the US to offer a 3G femtocell, but that service has not yet materialized. (See Sprint: We'll Beat AT&T to 3G Femto, Where Is the Sprint 3G Femtocell?, and Airvana Wins Major Sprint Femto Deal.)

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Light Reading Mobile

About the Author(s)

Michelle Donegan

Contributing Editor, Light Reading

Michelle Donegan is an independent technology writer who has covered the communications industry on both sides of the Pond for the past twenty years.

Her career began in Chicago in 1993 when Telephony magazine launched an international title, aptly named Global Telephony. Since then, she has upped sticks (as they say) to the UK and has written for various publications, including Communications Week International, Total Telecom, Light Reading, Telecom Titans and more.

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