Cellular outfits plan 3G compromise statement

Asian and European companies? Sounds like the world against Qualcomm again...

Asian and European cellular companies are to issue a joint statement regarding third generation (3G) wireless technology, according to Japanese reports. The content of the statement is not as yet known, but the companies involved suggest that it will be a further attempt to isolate/tame Qualcomm. Qualcomm, Ericsson and the ITU last week got involved in strange manoeuvring over the convergence of rival standards for high speed wireless (see Ericsson plots Qualcomm's demise). The ITU has issued an edict threatening to remove squabbling parties from consideration for the global IMT-2000 standard, while Ericsson has made what it claims is an offer of a compromise. The CDG (CDMA Development Group) has rejected this out of hand, saying the offer is deliberately incompatible with its own preferred option. Qualcomm has meanwhile been fingered by the ITU for being less than generous with its intellectual property, and Ericsson is trying not to get into trouble (and therefore, possibly, out of consideration) for similar sins. The companies making today's announcement will likely include most of those involved in the compromise over the European UMTS standard last year. This grouping included Ericsson, Alcatel, Nokia and Siemens, while NTT is also involved, as its technology is a key part of UMTS. Nokia made neutral noises when Ericsson made its compromise offer last week, so although it might seem that the UMTS grouping is getting ready to squash Qualcomm, it's by no means certain that they'll support Ericsson entirely. Qualcomm, however, has few friends, so it's still likely that whatever deal they come up with will put further pressure on the US company. ®

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