Qualcomm Strikes Deal With China’s Biggest Cell Phone Maker

12/23/08Follow @bvbigelow

San Diego wireless giant Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM) has reached a licensing agreement with Beijing Tianyu Communications Equipment Co., China’s biggest cell phone maker.

Under the deal, Tianyu has obtained worldwide rights to develop, manufacture and sell Qualcomm’s proprietary CDMA2000 and WCDMA subscriber units and modem cards. Qualcomm said Tianyu will pay royalties at its standard worldwide rates. Tianyu manufactured about 24 million handsets this year.

The China Daily reports today the deal represents a shot in the arm for China’s CDMA business, which has been transferred recently from China Unicom to China Telecom as part of the country’s telecom restructuring.

China Telecom launched its CDMA service yesterday and vowed to invest nearly $11.7 billion to upgrade its network and buy handsets. Qualcomm’s CDMA technology was previously used for years by China Unicom.

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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