Ericsson not giving up on chipsets and modems, but faces tough competitor in Qualcomm

Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) is not giving up on the market for smartphone modems, but it will have a steep hill to climb to challenge industry leader Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM). Ericsson's chipset play had been in ST-Ericsson, the joint venture it had with STMicroelectronics that was shut down last year amid mounting financial losses. Ericsson took on 1,800 workers to keep the modem business going, and last month Ericsson named Robert Puskaric, an 18-year company veteran, to head the unit. "It's a big market with well over a billion smartphones a year so there's room for several players," Bjoern Ekelund, head of strategy and ecosystem at Ericsson's modem facility in the southern Swedish town of Lund, told Bloomberg. "The mobile ecosystem needs multiple players in every part of the food chain."

According to research firm Strategy Analytics, Qualcomm dominated the baseband market with 64 percent revenue share, followed by MediaTek with 12 percent revenue share and Intel with 8 percent revenue share.

Ericsson is pushing ahead with its own LTE standalone modems, and its first product is the M7450. China Mobile certified the M7450 last month, according to Bloomberg, which could signal wider adoption. Ericsson says other major carriers around the world are also testing the chip. Article