Rivals see solution to CDMA row

Rivals see solution to CDMA row
Richard Ball The standoff over patents covering third generation mobile phones could be resolved by March, claim the main protagonists Ericsson and Qualcomm. “The possibility exists for coming up with a solution. We remain pretty optimistic,” Bill Bold, v-p of government affairs at Qualcomm, told Electronics Weekly. “We’re hopeful of a resolution by March.” “We are still of the firm belief that the discussion will be resolved,” confirmed an Ericsson spokesperson. “We think these issues can and will be handled within the industry.” The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) set a deadline of last December for firms joining the standards process to make their patents and intellectual property (IP) available to all other companies. This is standard ITU practice. Neither Ericsson nor Qualcomm have agreed to license code division multiple access (CDMA) – the technology at the heart of third generation mobiles. The ITU has unofficially extended the deadline to March. It has said that without the general availability of the CDMA patents, the standards cannot include the technology. However, even if all the IP rights are resolved, an ITU standard might not guarantee worldwide compatibility for third generation mobiles. “We’re not insisting on compatibility,” said Qualcomm’s Bold. The US firm is still upset that the ITU standard could be based on wideband CDMA as embraced by Europe and the Far East, rather than its own version, CDMA2000. “All the companies using CDMA have used CDMA2000,” said Bold.


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