Smartphone makers Nokia and Motorola have extended their IP licensing agreement to include 4G technologies such as LTE, WiMax and LTE-Advanced.
Motorola and Nokia may be competitors for market share in the high-end
smartphone space, but the pair knows when to work together toward a common
goal. In a shared statement, the two said they are extending an existing
intellectual property licensing agreement to include 4G technologies such as
LTE (Long Term Evolution) WiMax and LTE-Advanced.
"We are ... confident this agreement will help foster continued
innovation and technological advancement for the telecommunications industry,"
Kirk Dailey, corporate vice president of intellectual property at Motorola,
said in the Oct. 15 statement. "Motorola is committed to leveraging the
strength of its industry-leading intellectual property portfolio for the
benefit of its customers, partners, shareholders and licensees."
Paul Melin, vice president of intellectual property at Nokia, added that the
"agreement also shows that the industry is making fast progress in
resolving LTE licensing issues between the major patent holders. LTE has now
become a key element of Nokia's licensing program, and we expect strong returns
for our pioneering development."
In Las Vegas in September, MetroPCS
activated the first LTE network in the United States
, and later this
quarter Verizon Wireless plans to power up its own LTE-based 4G network
nationwide. Currently, the nation's largest 4G network is offered by
Sprint-owned Clearwire, which relies on LTE competitor technology WiMax. LTE,
however, is expected to become the more dominant technology, and Sprint
executives have been open about the possibility of rolling out LTE on top of
the Clearwire WiMax network.
For now, the
Samsung Epic 4G
and the HTC Evo 4G, both
offered by Sprint, are the only 4G-enabled smartphones offered by a U.S.
carrier. With more 4G networks planned, however-Sprint
announced its own branded 4G offering Oct. 18
, AT&T plans to offer
LTE-based 4G service in early 2011 and T-Mobile will eventually also rely on
LTE-Motorola and Nokia are sure to soon be offering consumers more 4G phone
Nokia and Motorola also have in common that each is involved in a lawsuit
with Apple. One
of the suits Nokia has filed against Apple
involves patent violation for
GSM, WLAN and UMTS standards. And similarly, 18 patents related to wireless
communication technologies are the focus of the suit Motorola filed Oct. 6
"We are pleased to conclude this extension of our IP licensing
agreement," Melin said of the deal with Motorola, "which is a great
example of the value that Nokia realizes from our industry-leading patent