Broadcom eyes entry into LTE chip market in 2013

Thu Dec 6, 2012 6:28pm EST
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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Broadcom Corp said on Thursday it would provide sample chips supporting the latest high-speed wireless services to its top cellphone customers in 2013.

This could help the company compete better with bigger rival Qualcomm Inc, which is years ahead of its peers in Long Term Evolution (LTE), the high-speed wireless technology being adopted by wireless service providers around the world.

Bob Rango, Broadcom's general manager for wireless, announced the company's LTE plan during its annual investor meeting and discussed design features it would include.

Charter Equity Research analyst Ed Snyder said he was impressed by the LTE product specifications promised, such as voice capability and power efficiency, but he was disappointed that Broadcom did not say when the chip would be commercial.

"They were really fuzzy on when it will get into the hands of users," said Snyder, who worried that it may be 2014 before the chips show up in smartphones.

"This is an area they have most chance of growing," he said.

Broadcom's gap between samples and commercial products can range from 6 to 18 months depending on the product maturity, according to Broadcom Chief Executive Scott McGregor.

But McGregor would not say how big the gap would be in this case or when the samples will be ready.

"We do feel really good about the product," McGregor said in an interview after the investor event.   Continued...