Qualcomm targets China for CDMA push

26 Feb 2003

US-based CDMA pioneer Qualcomm has announced that it has established a joint venture with China Unicom to further the development of the technology. The venture, known as Unicom-BREW Wireless Technologies, is designed to promote CDMA services based on Qualcomm’s Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless (BREW) platform. The founding ceremony for the new entity was held yesterday, at which time a range of BREW-enabled CDMA2000 1X handsets with new applications were presented by a number of Chinese and foreign equipment manufacturers and application developers. Unicom-BREW is a 50/50 venture between the parent companies. Qualcomm is keen to promote the adoption of CDMA in the world’s fastest growing emerging telecoms markets. It is known to be in informal talks with Chinese fixed line giants China Telecom and China Netcom in a bid to persuade them to adopt CDMA should they have the option; the Chinese regulator, the Ministry of Information Industry, has promised cellular licences to the country’s fixed line telcos but has not said when they will be granted nor whether the operators will have a choice of standards. Officials at Qualcomm have conceded that it is still early to speculate over the future of the Chinese mobile market but have expressed confidence that China Telecom and China Netcom will select CDMA.