Qualcomm’s Lauer Outlines Efforts to Ease Network Bottlenecks at Wireless Conference

11/11/09Follow @bvbigelow

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at roughly three times existing data rates. Lauer says many international wireless carriers and device makers have been moving to the updated EV-DO technology over the past six to nine months, particularly in Asia and the Middle East.

—The wireless industry’s next-generation standard, which is known as LTE (for Long Term Evolution), significantly boosts data capacity in dense urban areas, and now represents Qualcomm’s largest area of chip development, according to Lauer. Qualcomm also has been tweaking its existing wireless chipsets to enable wireless network operators to consolidate their mobile voice communications onto one channel. This technique can free as many as three other network channels for mobile data, depending on the existing network and how it’s set up.

—Optimizing the efficiencies of wireless networks by deploying what Lauer described as “user-deployed” femtocells, which are small cellular base stations typically designed for use in a home or small business, and “operator-deployed pico cells,” which are typically medium-sized cellular base stations intended to expand coverage in areas with poor reception (such as office buildings and shopping malls) or to extend network capacity in areas with very dense phone usage, such as train stations. Lauer says other changes in the “network topology” include what he calls “remote radio head” technology, which basically moves certain wireless antenna and receiver equipment closer to users and out of cellular base stations.

Lauer says Qualcomm also is looking for ways that the specialized, satellite-based network it has built for its mobile FLO TV broadcasts can be used instead of mobile data networks for downloading videos from YouTube, Hulu, and other video websites. As he puts it, “We’re serious about the data network offload.”

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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