Wireless-chip titan Qualcomm
A few months back, a consortium of Asian companies was looking at forming a joint venture to make baseband chips for 4G LTE networks, which would have presented a potential threat to Qualcomm as the leading supplier of such chips.
The group included big players Fujitsu, Samsung, NEC, Panasonic
A DoCoMo spokeswoman said, "The various stakeholders each had their own ideas, and an agreement could not be reached by the March deadline." So the deal has fallen through, and the venture is being abandoned. A local joint venture would have helped all of the companies by allowing them to get chips cheaper than buying from the likes of Qualcomm, but Qualcomm appears to be set to keep on keepin' on.
Last year, Qualcomm enjoyed its seat as the No. 1 baseband provider in the world, with a 43% market share. Intel
Even if this joint venture had gotten off the ground, Qualcomm would have still enjoyed royalties on the technology thanks to its broad patent portfolio, although it brings in less from 4G than it does from 3G. And while this joint venture is effectively dead, Qualcomm will still have to watch out for domestic rivals such as Intel and NVIDIA
NVIDIA has been coming after Qualcomm pretty aggressively and is looking to integrate an LTE baseband directly into its Tegra processor this year in a direct standoff with Qualcomm's Snapdragons, some of which offer that level of integration.
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