Nokia says dispute with Qualcomm may hurt 3G uptake

Nokia's ongoing patent battle with Qualcomm may work against the uptake of 3G mobile technology, a Nokia official, quoted by a Reuters report, said.

The Reuters report also said Nokia is putting its focus for 3G mobile phones on higher-end models, according to CTO Tero Ojanpera, despite moves by smaller rivals to lower device costs for the high-speed wireless service.

Nokia, which makes more than one in three of the cell phones sold globally, is mired in a legal dispute over patents with US mobile phone chip maker Qualcomm after part of a major cross-licensing agreement expired last month, the report said.

The Reuters report said the legal dispute centers on Nokia's use of Qualcomm patents for 3G, but it also has a bearing on Qualcomm's chips business, which according to Nokia uses many Nokia-patented technologies.

'We are in negotiations but there's no agreement,' Ojanpera was quoted by the report as saying.

Nokia last week filed its first patent counter-suit against Qualcomm, seeking damages and an injunction against Qualcomm chips, the Reuters report said.

Analysts estimate Nokia has paid Qualcomm around $500 million per year and now aims to get a better deal, it added.

Mobile operators are shifting from voice-centric 2G services to 3G or its alternatives to offer more lucrative services such as video calls, music downloads and Internet over cell phones, the report further said.