3G : Qualcomm Chief Dismisses Wi-Fi, WiMax Threats

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Qualcomm Inc. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Irwin Jacobs defended his company’s licensing strategy during a Wednesday night appearance in Mountain View, California, and said he sees no threat to it from Wi-Fi or WiMax.

The San Diego company pioneered CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) in the 1980s and now collects royalties from vendors that use the cellular technology, which has grown to include both major 3G (third-generation) mobile data systems.

The industry isn’t about to abandon Qualcomm-linked technologies for other wireless systems in order to get out of licensing fees, Jacobs said.

He dismissed Wi-Fi hotspots as being redundant once subscribers can buy monthly services using high-speed mobile data systems such as CDMA2000 1x EV-DO (Evolution-Data Optimized), WCDMA (Wideband CDMA) and a faster version of WCDMA called HSDPA (High-Speed Downlink Packet Access).

“Now that you’re paying … for a service you can use anywhere … why would you pay extra to go to a hotspot?” Jacobs asked.

He also took digs at WiMax, a longer range wireless technology that in the future will allow for mobility.

“WiMax … has a tremendous advantage over CDMA2000 1x EV-DO or WCDMA HSDPA. … One of the great things is that it has the name. But it’s still not a technology,” Jacobs quipped, referring to the fact that WiMax for fixed broadband will not ship until later this year and the mobile version of it is still being standardized.

Time is on Qualcomm’s side, because it will take years for service providers to acquire frequency licenses for WiMax and to roll out the technology, he said.

Full Story: 3G : Qualcomm chief dismisses Wi-Fi, WiMax threats (Computerworld, Stephen Lawson).

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