Feeds

US trade pressure kills China's home-grown tech

3G angst

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Website security in corporate America

Protectionist US technology companies won a significant lobbying victory through the US Trade Department this week, as the Chinese government pledged not to promote its home-grown TD-SCDMA technology for 3G and not to interfere with royalty negotiations between Chinese carriers and foreign interests.

China has invested heavily in funding its home grown technologies, ranging from microprocessors to communications standards. The implicit threat of its investment in TD-SCDMA, a 3G overlay for GSM networks, was that China reserved the right not to pay royalties. Both major flavors of 3G - Qualcomm's CDMA 1x and the 3GPPP's W-CDMA (known in Europe as UTMS) have royalty strings attached; Qualcomm's is a straight five to six per cent, while the 3GPPP's is more complex, with some of those royalties winding their way back to Qualcomm, of course. The 3G Planning Group of the PRC's State Information Office said it wanted to waive royalties for TD-SCDMA, which was reckoned to be thirty per cent cheaper than W-CDMA.

But the agreement reached this week - which also saw China agree to modify its go-it-alone stance on WAPI 802.11 encryption - drew major concessions with respect to 3G from the PRC.

China has vowed to "support technology neutrality with respect to the adoption of 3G", to allow "telecommunications service providers in China … to make their own choices as to which standard to adopt, depending on their individual needs," and not to get involved in royalty negotiations.

(The US also forced China to take genetically-modified crops in the same agreement; it’s not often you see soybeans and CDMA in the same short press release.)

How closely China will follow the agreement remains to be seen. Qualcomm's first and some of its most important patents expire towards the end of the decade, with LM Ericsson's following. By then, Scandinavian and US manufacturers will be hoping there's enough of a market established to prevent a wholesale switch. On the other hand, the PRC is playing a long game, and has plenty of patience. ®

Related stories

China agrees to drop WAPI wireless sec spec
Trade Wars II: China shuns Qualcomm – no CDMA tax!
EU frets over China's 3G plan
Gang of Four set W-CDMA royalty cap
Patent fees weigh down 3G uptake

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
ISPs' post-net-neutrality world is built on 'bribes' says Tim Berners-Lee
Father of the worldwide web is extremely peeved over pay-per-packet-type plans
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Google+ GOING, GOING ... ? Newbie Gmailers no longer forced into mandatory ID slurp
Mountain View distances itself from lame 'network thingy'
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.