Where it's based: Paris
When it was founded: 2003
Why it's Fierce: WiMAX silicon provider Sequans Communications has been working the shadow of competitor Beceem, which has scored some high-profile wins with Samsung and Motorola--two major suppliers for Sprint's Xohm rollout. But Sequans has been racking up an impressive list of customers both on the base station and device side. Sequans chips are the basis for just about every WiMAX device coming out of Taiwan and the company's silicon is powering nearly all of India's recently announced WiMAX networks, including BSNL, VSNL, Tata and Reliance, partnering with vendor Telsima. In the developed world, Sequans is powering one of the first devices scheduled to launch on Sprint Nextel's network, the ZyZEL desktop CPE. The company's silicon was among the first to be certified for Wave 1 mobile WiMAX and is expected to be at the top for Wave 2 certification later this year.
What to Look For: The chip maker's claim to fame is its ability to deliver high data throughput with about one-third of the power of its competitors, a key requirement for those operators wanting to save on operating expenses. Sequans is poised to capitalize on WiMAX's success in rural and developing markets, where cost is a key requirement for bridging the digital divide. Look for Sequans to bring multimode WiMAX/WiFi chips and the next generation of 65 nm chips, where power consumption will be cut in half.