The important of the fight for the wireless broadband market was revealed last week when IEEE temporarily halted the standards process for the 802.20 wireless broadband standard. The move came after Intel and Motorola threatened to file formal complaints about the way the working group's chairman, Jerry Upton, allegedly handled draft proposals in favor of Qualcomm and Kyocera. Upton called himself an independent consultant, but reportedly revealed to the IEEE that he had a relationship with Qualcomm.
Intel and Motorola have been complaining since mid-November that Qualcomm submitted an incomplete technology proposal. It's clear that 802.20 is going to be a competitive threat to WiMAX, a technology heavily favored by both Intel and Motorola. Qualcomm was the one that revived the 802.20 process late last year. The company has been working to use its considerable influence on the 802.20 working group to finalize it by the end of 2006, in a bid to provide an alternative to mobile WiMAX. The company has been accused of stacking the voting.
The drama is only beginning to unfold: Just wait until Qualcomm tries to wave its OFDMA-related patents around when it comes to mobile WiMAX.