Will Smarter Wi-Fi Boost Qualcomm Inc. Stock?

A new approach to delivering wireless could triple speeds. But it’ll take mass adoption before investors see gains in Qualcomm stock.

Apr 17, 2014 at 2:15PM

Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) is working on technology that promises to triple Wi-Fi speeds, but it could be years before everyday networks see the benefit. Fool contributor Tim Beyers explains the implications for Qualcomm investors in the following video.

Interestingly, Qualcomm isn't pitching speed so much as efficiency. The technology, called MU-MIMO for "multi-user, multi-input, multi-output," allows multiple groups to gain access to wireless signal at the same time at speeds consistent with their usage. The theory? Smarter delivery should lead to higher overall speeds, especially since current Wi-Fi technology tends to serve a single group or user at a time.

Can the plan work? Tim says a lot depends on how quickly Qualcomm brings MU-MIMO to market since the technology requires both broadcasters (e.g., routers) and recipients (e.g., computers, smartphones) to have compatible radios. Convincing manufacturers of desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones to adopt the technology may not be easy.

Or maybe the timing is exactly right. Research firm IHS says we should expect another 6 billion-plus devices to seek connections to the Internet this year. A plurality will log in wirelessly, creating a need for the sort of bandwidth management MU-MIMO provides.

Either way, history says manufacturers tend to take their time changing internal tech specs. Investors shouldn't be surprised if Qualcomm's estimate that it will begin shipping MU-MIMO chipsets to customers early next year proves too optimistic, Tim says.

Now it's your turn to weigh in. Do you expect the industry to adopt MU-MIMO soon?  Why or why not? Please watch the video to get the full story and then leave a comment to let us know your take, including whether you would buy, sell, or short Qualcomm stock at current prices.

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Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team and the Motley Fool Supernova Odyssey I mission. He didn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article at the time of publication. Check out Tim's web home and portfolio holdings or connect with him on Google+Tumblr, or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.

The Motley Fool owns shares of Qualcomm. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

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David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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