Report: Qualcomm Inks CDMA Licenses in China

TOKYO (06/08/2000) - Days after China United Telecommunications Co. (China Unicom) said it was putting off plans to build a nationwide cellular network based on the CDMA (code division multiple access) technology of Qualcomm Inc., the U.S. company has signed eight licensing deals with local telecommunications makers, the official China Daily newspaper has reported.

The licensing deals cover the existing second-generation and new third-generation versions of CDMA (code division multiple access), said the report in today's edition of the government newspaper. The report named the licensees as Beijing-based Datang Telecom and Capitel, Shenzhen-based Huawei Technology and Zhongxing Telecom, Hangzhou-based Eastcom, Jinan-based HiSense Group and Langchao Group, Shanghai Lawton Technology Group.

The companies are expected to develop prototype CDMA handsets and base stations and the agreement provides an option for commercial development of such products, the report said.

At the beginning of this week, through an interview with a China Unicom official in the same newspaper, the company announced it was scrapping plans to build a second-generation CDMA network and instead switch its attention to a third-generation system [See "China Delays Plans for CDMA Says Gov't Paper," June 5.]The deals are likely to provide little comfort to Qualcomm shareholders after the shock of China Unicom's postponment of its CDMA plans -- a deal that the company has believed was in the works for months. While the value of the licensing deals was not disclosed, analysts say they are likely to be smaller than the China Unicom deal.

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