TCL signs 3G CDMA development deal with Qualcomm

Qualcomm Inc. has, for the first time, sold the designs for more advanced CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) handsets to a Chinese company.

Electronics manufacturer TCL Holdings Co. Ltd, which is based in China's Guangdong province, entered a multi-million dollar design technology transfer agreement on Monday, also allowing it to develop and design CDMA2000 1x handsets, a Qualcomm statement said. Under the terms of the deal, Qualcomm will supply designs for CDMA handsets to TCL, saving the company time in the development of products.

CDMA2000 1x technology represents one step above current second generation (2G) CDMA and is generally referred to as a 2.5G technology. It allows data transmission at speeds up to 153K bps (bits per second) and is backwards-compatible with earlier CDMA technology, making it easy to upgrade for both carriers and consumers.

Qualcomm and TCL also signed a separate royalty-bearing license agreement which gives TCL the ability to use CDMA technology in handsets of its own design. The agreement covers the development, manufacture and sale of current generation CDMA handsets and 2.5G and 3G CDMA devices using the respective CDMA2000 1x and 1xEV standards, the company said.

TCL, which already manufactures GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) handsets, is the third Chinese company to be given a handset license this month. China's largest household electric appliance manufacturer, Haier Group Co. Ltd and one of China's largest telecommunication equipment maker, Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., both signed licensing agreements with Qualcomm, allowing them similar rights to utilize Qualcomm CDMA technology for subscriber equipment and infrastructure products respectively, the company said.

Earlier this year, Qualcomm gave ZTE Corp., a Chinese telecommunication equipment giant, a license similar to TCL, giving ZTE the authority to design and sell handsets in China for use on a CDMA network being built by mobile operator China United Telecommunications Corp. (China Unicom).

There are over 100 authorized Qualcomm CDMA suppliers worldwide with a large number coming from Asia-Pacific countries, such as China, Japan, and Korea, the company said.

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