Despite LTE push, Qualcomm promises CDMA enhancements

Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) may be the leading chipset provider in terms of LTE, but that doesn't mean it's turning its back on its CDMA customers or heritage, according to a senior executive.

Speaking to reporters at Qualcomm's Uplinq developer conference, Murthy Renduchintala, executive vice president of Qualcomm Technologies and co-president of Qualcomm Mobile, said Qualcomm remains committed to the evolution of CDMA. Many CDMA carriers, including in the United States, Japan and China, have been pushing ahead with FDD-LTE and TD-LTE deployments.

"We're still very enthusiastic about the foreseeable future for CDMA," Renduchintala said, according to Light Reading. "While the operators that are still committed to CDMA are concentrated, they still have needs on extensibility and evolution of their footprint, and we support them fully."

Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) has said it will launch its first LTE-only smartphone, without a CDMA chipset for voice, by the end of 2014. And Verizon has said it could shutter its CDMA network starting at the end of this decade. If carriers start cutting CDMA chips out of their devices, it could slash the royalty payments Qualcomm receives. However, Renduchintala said Qualcomm is committed to enhancing CDMA capabilities.

"We continue to have very extensive discussions with all key operators in CDMA to understand their needs and capacity requirements, and we continue to incrementally add features to CDMA technology capability just as we do to GSM, WCDMA, and LTE," Renduchintala noted.

In addition to announcing its smart watch, Toq, which is more of a reference design than a mass market consumer product, Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs also unveiled AllPlay, a wireless audio streaming technology that is based Qualcomm's wireless proximal networking software project, AllJoyn. As Engadget notes, the technology is similar in some respects to Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) AirPlay, and lets users stream music from apps to compatible speakers, receivers or other devices. The service offers wireless streaming of local and cloud-based content across any brand or platform; one of AllPlay's first partners is Rhapsody.

For more:
- see this Light Reading article
- see this Engadget article

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