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Monday, April 14, 2008

LTE IPR agreement - but what about everyone else?

So, Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, NEC, NextWave Wireless, Nokia, Nokia Siemens Networks and Sony Ericsson have collectively agreed to a framework which aims to limit LTE patent royalties to single-digit % of handset sales value.

OK, that's clearly a worthy goal.... but it does rather beg the question of what % of the total necessary IPR they own between them. I'd guess it's a fairly good chunk, but there are a few obvious missing representatives, notably all the chipset & RF component suppliers like Qualcomm, TI, Intel, Broadcom and so forth. Then there's the various IPR licencing specialists like Interdigital, plus presumably various of the operators have invented some of the clever stuff in their own labs. Also missing from the roster are Motorola, Nortel, Huawei and most of the other Asian vendors.

This is however definitely a good ploy in term of getting NGMN to further favour LTE over alternative candidate technologies. It will be interesting to see if the WiMAX community does something similar.... and if the WiMAX and LTE groups (which overlap quite a lot) can find it in their hearts to cross-licence things where necessary. I wouldn't hold my breath, though.

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