Mobile

Watch out Qualcomm, DoCoMo taps Samsung, Fujitsu, others for LTE chip venture

Qualcomm’s mobile chipset dominance may be threatened by a new joint venture spearheaded by Japan’s NTT DoCoMo, focusing on next-generation LTE products.

DoCoMo is investing $5.8 million in a wholly owned subsidiary, dubbed Communication Platform Planning Co. (creative, no?), which will be run together with Samsung, Fujitsu, Fujitsu Semiconductor, NEC, and Panasonic.

The fabless company (it won’t have any chip factories of its own) will create “feature-rich, small-size, low-power-consumption semiconductor products equipped with modem functionality,” with a specific focus on LTE and LTE-Advanced products.

Clearly, the venture is targeting San Diego-based Qualcomm, which currently holds a massive 80 percent share of the mobile chipset market. Mobile chipsets are becoming increasingly important, thanks to the rise of smartphones and tablets, so it makes sense for the Asian firms to want in on the action.

Details on the venture are still being worked out, but the companies plan to finalize everything by the end of March 2012. Communication Platform Planning Co. will be run by Mitsunobu Komori, currently an executive vice president and CTO at DoCoMo.


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