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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Qualcomm - investments in Femtocells and Spectrum

Qualcomm's had a busy week in the UK.

First off, it paid £8m for 40MHz of "L-Band" spectrum at 1452MHz, suitable for.... well, who knows, but possibly a MediaFlo mobile TV network. As it's unpaired, it's not usable by conventional CDMA technologies or its ill-fated UMB system.

And this morning, it's been announced that it's taking a strategic stake in pico/femto specialist ip.access. Given that it's also got Intel on its investor roster, that should make for some interesting board meetings.

Whenever I've raised the issue of femtos with the big Q in the past, I've essentially got a shrug and a "nothing to do with us really, but it's all radio coverage, so generally a good thing". So I have to say this is a little surprising - although certainly no more so than Google's investment in Ubiquisys.

It could be to encourage ip.access to develop CDMA femtos as well as 3GPP ones, I suppose.

Or.....I wonder what you could do if you put a MediaFlo chip into a femtocell... either for receiving signals to create the equivalent of a parallel digital terrestrial network. Or for sending them at lower power to distribute TV around a house, a bit like Ruckus does with WiFi.

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