Qualcomm pushes multi-mode modem technology for LTE, HSPA+

Qualcomm posted fairly solid numbers for third fiscal quarter earnings on Wednesday, but we could see much better results in the future based on some of the technologies previewed during the conference call.

Qualcomm posted fairly solid numbers for third fiscal quarter earnings on Wednesday, but we could see much better results in the future based on some of the technologies previewed during the conference call.

See also: Qualcomm narrowly beats expectations for Q3 FY11 earnings

Speaking during the company's quarterly conference call for investors, CEO Dr. Paul Jacobs explained where Qualcomm currently is with its latest major project:

During this quarter, we sampled our Snapdragon MSM8960 chipset based on 28-nanometer process technology. The MSM8960 is a dual core solution which uses our next-generation microarchitecture called Krait with integrated multi-mode modem technology including EV-DO, dual carrier HSPA+, and both the TDD and FDD variances of LTE.

To reinforce just how much HSPA+ and other network technologies are growing, Jacobs provided the following key stats:

  • As of late June, there were 1.4 billion 3G subscriptions worldwide, up 30 percent from one year ago
  • 3G connections will account for 50 percent of mobile subscriptions by the end of Q4 2011
  • Number of commercial operators using HSPA+: 136; 39 of these operators have commercially launched dual-carrier HSPA+ --- a 70 percent increase in the last quarter
  • 218 operators are investing in LTE, including 24 networks that have commercially launched
  • There are at least seven commercial EV-DO Rev. B networks, with an additional 11 operators planning to launch or trial the technology

Most of those figures, especially regarding 3G subscriptions, aren't too surprising considering that Jacobs affirmed that global smartphone sales have already exceeded 100 million devices during the first quarter of 2011. That's 85 percent year-over-year growth. Within North America, Jacobs cited a Gartner report that expects smartphone sales to exceed 50 percent of the total number of handhelds sold this year.

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