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Entries in Leadcore (1)

Monday
Aug122013

Qualcomm sweeps aside Chinese firms in TD-LTE device tender

Qualcomm-powered devices have dominated China Mobile’s just-completed TD-LTE tender, sweeping aside local firms.

The 200,000-unit tender was not large by Chinese standards, and comprised mostly data cards and MiFi devices, but is significant as China Mobile’s biggest single procurement of 4G terminals to date.

A rueful piece in 21st Century Business records that the only China-built chipset to win was Huawei’s Hisilicon, which was used primarily in Huawei’s own devices.

Qualcomm won primarily because of its ability to support ‘5 modes and 10 bands’ (the modes are GSM, W-CDMA, HSPA, TD-LTE and FDD-LTE; the bands vary from market to market). Moreover, the US firm last year gave a big assist to China Mobile’s plan to make TD fully global by declaring that all of its chips would support both modes of LTE.

The outcome of the tender “frustrated” local players Spreadtrum and Leadcore, and Taiwan’s Mediatek, the story said.

An executive from one firm complained that at the current stage, the market was all about data cards and CPE, which didn’t require “all modes”.

He said the 4G handset era, still a year or so away, would allow domestic chip players to play to their strengths in pricing, but also called on operators “to give us more opportunities and time.”

In the meantime, for focus for all three firms would be on developing multi-mode single chip products, the article says.