Competitors threaten Qualcomm’s leadership in LTE

basebandFor a market that has many competitors, the LTE market has predominately had one defined leader in the cellular baseband market: Qualcomm. The upcoming year will be an opportunity to close the gap for companies like MediaTek, Intel, and Broadcom. Many of these companies believe there will be a momentum shift for the LTE market in 2014.

Many of these competitive companies have reason to be optimistic about a surge. First off, Qualcomm has established themselves as the head of the pack. It maintained its dominance with 66 percent revenue share and a 95 percent of revenue share in the LTE baseband segment. Benefits come from Qualcomm spending $14 billion in research and development over the past 4 years. They also have the desire to deploy LTE on unlicensed spectrum. Qualcomm is aware that many companies want to threaten their place in the LTE market but are working hard to stay ahead of the game.

As far as percent revenue share (12%), MediaTek came in a distant second. The road ahead is bright for MediaTek as they recently released the MT6290, their first multimode LTE chipset. The plan for 2014 is to take their LTE chips to carrier labs and then hit the market during Q3 and Q4 of the year. MediaTek also has plans for their initial LTE devices to have standalone modems as well as integrated chips that incorporate modems and applications processors together.

The next competitor in the pack is Intel with a percent revenue share of 7%. Intel is trying to increase its LTE and overall mobile expertise by purchasing a division of Fujitsu that specializes in RF transceiver technology. There are also plans for Intel’s XMM 7260 modem to be integrated into commercial devices to provide LTE Advanced features.

Broadcom has taken strides for 2014 by acquiring LTE assets from Renesas. Broadcom’s M320 dual-core LTE System-on-a-Chip will also be in a minimum of one Samsung phone by Q1. They have attempted to differentiate themselves by supporting different Wi-Fi usage models along with its GPS chips. They are progressive due to the use of multiple satellite constellations.

Clearly, each manufacturer is trying to establish themselves more firmly in the cellular baseband market. While Qualcomm has a stranglehold on the market, they continue to make moves in order to maintain their stay at the top. Meanwhile, there are plenty of competitors taking strides to become a real threat in 2014. As carriers lean more heavily on LTE services, the competition will become more aggressive and critical.

Launch 3 Telecom buys and sells equipment that utilizes cellular baseband. For more information about LTE related products and manufacturers, contact Launch 3 Telecom at 877-878-9134 or email sales@launch3.net.