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Qualcomm snuggles up to Beijing

Wants CDMA to be standard in China, wants open standards globally. Shurely shome mishtake?

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Reports that Qualcomm is lobbying Chinese telecoms regulators to adopt its CDMA standard must surely be false, considering the fact that the company opposes Europe adopting a single third generation phone standard. But then again, the US' 'let the market decide' policy doesn't play well in Beijing. Recent sabre-rattling between Brussels and US trade negotiator Charlene Barshefsky has certainly had a Qualcomm angle. The CDMA company is concerned about being locked out of the European third generation UMTS standard, and so far the US government seems ready to give it some backing. In China, CDMA has won a couple of trials, but Qualcomm has seen the irresistible GSM juggernaut roll across the country. All those billions of users are getting away. Qualcomm is arguing that technical superiority and greater capacity for CDMA make it a better bet for Beijing in the long term, but says it's difficult to get China to invest in a second infrastructure -- as indeed it would be. Humorously, there's some suggestion that Qualcomm might be able to improve its position if US trade negotiators pushed harder for China to open up its telecoms markets. ® Click for more stories Click for story index

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