updated 08:08 am EDT, Wed May 9, 2012
Clearwire, Qualcomm join to unify LTE
Clearwire and Qualcomm have announced a new partnership that will bring support for Clearwire’s TDD-LTE frequency to its multi-mode LTE mobile chipsets towards the end of the year. Clearwire had taken a different tact to most of the other US carriers, who have opted for the FDD-LTE standard. However, the TDD-LTE specification has been widely adopted across the globe by heavyweights including China Mobile, Bharti-Airtel in India and Softbank in China giving Clearwire a unique opportunity to offer a global LTE smartphone.
The development also offers OEMs and consumers more flexibility and simplicity when it comes to buying a LTE device moving forward. Although development of the new 4G technology was supposed to help unify carriers following on from the current muddle of 3G and 3.5G technologies currently on the market, the current LTE market has already splintered with a wide range of network spectrums being utilized as well as a fork in the LTE standard itself leading to two major variants of the technology.
‘We are pleased that Qualcomm will expand the size of the LTE ecosystem by adding support for Clearwire's LTE frequency bands to their chipsets. By working with Qualcomm, Clearwire will ensure that LTE TDD and LTE FDD will work seamlessly together,’ said Erik Prusch, president and CEO of Clearwire. ‘This will bring significant benefits to OEMs, network operators and consumers alike," he added.
The new Qualcomm multi-mode LTE chipsets are expected to support multi-band, multi-mode TDD-LTE and FDD-LTE specifications with the implication being that a global LTE smartphone is now closer to reality. Clearwire expects to deploy 5,000 TDD-LTE hotspot sites in 31 markets by June next year making it well placed to offer devices that can take advantage of both data and voice over LTE in the US, but around the globe. [via Fierce Wireless]