Via Telecom, a privately held chipset maker based in Taiwan, hopes that its CDMA baseband win in Verizon Wireless' (NYSE:VZ) LTE-enabled Samsung Droid Charge will help boost its U.S. market position.
The company, which has a fraction of the CDMA baseband market compared with the dominant player, Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM), is realistic about its position but thinks its Droid Charge win will help it get more recognition from U.S. carriers. The design win was first reported in a newsletter distributed by Forward Concepts analyst Will Strauss, and was confirmed by Via Telecom. The Droid Charge employs Samsung's LTE modem and Via's EV-DO Rev. A modem.
Via, which is owned by Via Technologies, first committed to commercializing its products in the U.S. in 2006, and the company's chips made their debut with Verizon in 2007. Via's CDMA 1X solution is in Pantech and Samsung products for Verizon and CalComp's CricketEZ for Leap Wireless (NASDAQ:LEAP). Additionally, Via supplies an EV-DO Rev. A modem chip for an embedded module for Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S).
As a result of the Droid Charge, Via expects to win more business. "I think the other operators, other Tier 1s, are taking notice," Daniel Lee, Via's director of international sales, told FierceWireless. "We believe that will lead to more commercialization for the company."
Via declined to disclose its U.S. sales. Lee said the U.S. market is a "strategic" market for the company.
Strauss said he expects Via to continue to make inroads in the U.S. market, mainly in low-end handsets. "But they have got an opportunity here in the U.S. where they can pair with LTE chips," Strauss said. "Qualcomm will have to come up with something to compete with it."
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