Top Firms Sign On to Emerging Mobile Network

By Reuters  |  Posted 04-15-2008 Print Email

Big-name handset and equipment makers agreed to work on licensing framework for Long Term Evolution technology.

A number of the world's largest technology companies agreed to commit to a licensing framework for their patents for the emerging mobile network technology known as Long Term Evolution (LTE). 

The companies, which include the world's largest cellphone maker Nokia and top mobile network gear maker Ericsson, said on Monday they were aiming to boost take-up of the new technology by agreeing to license their patents on fair and reasonable terms.

LTE promises to make everything from mobile-video sharing to music downloads speedier, but it may not show a visible boost in sales for the network equipment industry any time soon as the first networks are not expected for two years and many operators will wait longer until the technology matures. 

"Today's announcement is a step towards establishing more predictable and transparent licensing costs in a manner that enables faster adoption of new technologies," Ilkka Rahnasto, head of Nokia's intellectual property rights said in a statement.

The companies have committed to keeping royalty levels for essential LTE patents in handsets below 10 percent of the sale price, with the maximum royalty in LTE-enabled notebooks staying below $10. 

The group also included Alcatel-Lucent, NEC, NextWave Wireless, Nokia Siemens Networks and Sony Ericsson.

Verizon Wireless, the No. 2 U.S. mobile service, has decided to build out an LTE network, while China Mobile, the world's biggest mobile provider, said earlier this year it would test LTE. 

Alcatel-Lucent and Japan's NEC signed a joint-venture deal to pool their development and marketing of the technology. Even Qualcomm Inc has promised chips for LTE, a competitor to its own Ultra Mobile Broadband technology. 



 

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