Qualcomm claims “more than 1,000 essential patents for OFDM, OFDMA (OFDM Access), and MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output) technologies”, essentially meaning that whichever route the next generation of mobile technology takes Qualcomm will be demanding royalties. The possible exception may be WiMAX, and Bill Davidson, senior vice president of investor relations and international marketing at Qualcomm, told IDG that WiMAX wasn’t as good as other mobile technology because of “engineering trade-offs and performance issues” from WiMAX coming out of a fixed environment…and also that the IP situation in WiMAX is far more cloudy than in 3G.
4G Not Needed: Davidson also denigrated the idea of extremely fast mobile networks such as some proponents of 4G are promoting. “Many are talking about data rates that we don’t even get on landline systems today. Yes, you can enable HDTV over these enormously wide pieces of spectrum. But what is the practical cost to the end-user?” I agree that there is little you could do with a 100 Mbps mobile connection that you can’t do with a 1 Mbps connection, the issue is that this is the maximum speed — the actual speed to the end user is always a lot lower, and the connection fluctuates wildly.
Nokia dig: Davidson was also asked about Nokia, and replied: “It’s amusing to me that Nokia seems to think it’s holding up the banner for the entire industry. If not for Qualcomm, there would be far fewer handset manufacturers for them to deal with as competitors and potential competitors. Our business model gives consumers a lot more choice so that Nokia can’t dictate pricing into the market.”