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Technology Chinese-Japanese telecom contract firms up Qualcomm’s technology in Asia

Wireless: Contract Between Chinese, Japanese Telecoms Solidifies Technology’s Role

A new agreement between Chinese and Japanese wireless carriers may bode well for Qualcomm Inc.’s patented technology in Asia, according to published reports.

Japan’s KDDI Corp. , which runs a network using Qualcomm’s CDMA, or code division multiple access, standard , will share technical know-how with China Unicom under an agreement signed June 5.

The Wall Street Journal reported the agreement would give China a smooth start in rolling out CDMA.

China Unicom last month placed orders with several manufacturers for roughly $1.5 billion in CDMA infrastructure equipment. The Chinese carrier should deploy the technology during the fourth quarter, according to the Costa Mesa-based CDMA Development Group.

Additionally, the KDDI-China Unicom deal would reportedly allow “roaming” between Japan and China.

The national newspaper cited unnamed executives saying the pact could help determine the success of CDMA in China and elsewhere in Asia.

South Korea has an especially strong CDMA market.

The CDMA association last week called the Asia Pacific region its largest market, with 40 million of the world’s 90 million CDMA subscribers.

In other Qualcomm news last week:

– Qualcomm announced “favorable” outcomes of three court cases where former employees sued the company for stock options. One case had been filed by 69 employees who transferred to Ericsson with the sale of Qualcomm’s infrastructure unit. Another case involved employees laid off in February 1999. A third case also involved multiple employees.

– Texas-based Compaq Computer Corp. announced it will offer notebook computers with Qualcomm CDMA2000 1xEV high data rate technology. The technology will let the portable computers tie into wireless wide-area networks. The product should be available commercially by the second quarter of 2002, the companies said.

– Wireless Knowledge Inc. , Qualcomm’s joint venture with Microsoft Corp. ,announced it would create applications for a “smartphone” made by Kyocera Wireless Corp. The applications will allow phone users to exchange data with large “enterprise” computer systems. San Diego-based Kyocera makes the phone that incorporates a Palm-based computer. The Kyocera unit originated as a branch of Qualcomm, which sold the business in early 2000.

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