Qualcomm Leverages CDMA Position in China

Qualcomm is betting that adoption of its 3G technology in China will fuel future growth.

BEIJING—Qualcomm Inc. has wagered that licensing versions of its CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) technology in China will be a major source of its future growth.

Qualcomm, which recently reported its quarterly financial results, said global growth of 3G CDMA is fueling demand for its chip sets. The company went on to say it is pushing aggressively new versions of its CDMA technology, with development in the CDMA2000 1X; CDMA2000 1XEV-DO (Evolution Data Optimized); WCDMA (Wideband CDMA), or UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System); and GSM1x markets.

Jing Wang, senior vice president and chairman of Qualcomm China told eWEEK.com his company is focused on providing chip sets and software for wireless handset manufacturers, and expects all major interoperability and intellectual property obstacles to be overcome in the near future.

"Interoperability will be achieved through the use of multimode chip sets and multiband handsets in China, and for that matter, throughout the world," Wang said, adding that Qualcomm is working with China Unicom on blending network technology in order to ensure a seamless handover for customers between GSM and CDMA2000 networks.

And while Qualcomm is developing new ways for various enterprise wireless network technologies and standards to work together, the company is steadfast in protecting the intellectual property rights it has developed.

"There are issues as it regards to intellectual property protection, but we expect all royalty and licensing issues will be resolved," Wang said. At issue is whether the Chinese government will pay Qualcomm royalties for the development of TD-SCDMA (Time Division Synchronous CDMA), its homegrown standard aimed at providing improved security for wireless networks. Qualcomm claims the kernel of the technology comes from its version of CDMA.

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Wang said Qualcomm already has more than 100 key patents for its technology registered in China, and is working closely with the government to resolve any outstanding issues.

"We have licensed a total of more than 20 leading Chinese vendors for our CDMA2000 technology," Wang added, saying Qualcomms CDMA technology will play a significant role as 3G networks are rolled out in China.

Next Page: Qualcomms $14 million round of financing for a China-based phone designer.