As the inventor of the CDMA (Code-Division Multiple Access) standard, Qualcomm has been reeling in big bucks in recent years as operators around the world started rolling out third-generation (3G) cellular networks based on wideband CDMA.
Until now, the company's CDMA technology only makes up 20 percent of the worldwide cell phone market, mostly in North and South America. The majority of carriers use the ubiquitous GSM standard.
Not satisfied with voice and CDMA chips as its main cash cow, Qualcomm expanded into areas like providing software, such as Brew (Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless) that allows operators to provide mobile services like ring tone downloads and video mail.
In March 2004, the company inked a deal with Indian operator Tata Indicom to provide push-to-talk services on Kyocera handsets using Brew. The service also lets customers download games and ring tones as well as use e-mail. At present, the telco has 1.22 million CDMA wireless users.
Qualcomm's Brew technology competes with Sun's Java. But as a sign that it has become more cooperative with its more successful competitor, Qualcomm made its mobile chips support Java mobile apps in 2003.