Nortel goes its own way with LTE IPR licensing

Nortel has thrown a wrench into the LTE framework licensing agreement announced last month by seven wireless vendors. The vendor, known to hold some substantial IPR for OFDMA, has snubbed its nose at last month's framework agreement, instead going it alone on LTE IPR fees and announcing what is says is a competitive handset royalty rate of about 1 percent of the handset sales price for its portfolio of LTE essential patents.  

The fee structure agreed to by Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, NEC, NextWave Wireless, Nokia, Nokia Siemens Networks and Sony Ericsson calls for royalties for LTE that total less than 10 percent of the resale price for handsets and less than $10 for laptops. However, it is up to the companies involved to decide how this (up to) 10 percent is split between them. Nortel's plan would guarantee the vendor makes money.

Qualcomm and Motorola, to other big patent holders, are likely to stay out of the seven-vendor initiative and come out with their own LTE license schemes. How much visibility will that give in terms of industry IPR fees?

For more on Nortel's LTE play:
- read this Nortel LTE royalty press release