Mon, Nov 06, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Qualcomm dispute hurts development of 5G: minister

Staff writer, with CNA

The suspension of Qualcomm Inc’s 5G development collaboration with the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) is likely to affect Taiwan’s 5G development, Minister of Science and Technology Chen Liang-gee (陳良基) said yesterday.

Qualcomm made the decision to halt the deal with the ITRI shortly after the Fair Trade Commission on Oct. 11 imposed a NT$23.4 billion (US$776 million) fine on the firm for violating antitrust law.

It is difficult to say whether it is advantageous or disadvantageous to cooperate with Qualcomm, Chen said, adding that the nation maintains competitive and cooperative ties with the US-based smartphone chip designer.

Qualcomm’s withdrawal from the cooperative deal with the ITRI might provide an opportuity for Taiwan-based chip designer MediaTek Inc to accelerate its industrial development, Chen said.

In a joint trial conducted with Japan’s largest mobile operator by subscribers, NTT DoCoMo, MediaTek has developed a chipset to increase the spectral efficiency of its mobile devices by up to 2.3 times compared with existing LTE technology, it said.

It has also, in conjunction with China’s Huawei, completed interoperability development testing of fifth-generation radio in enhanced mobile broadband and ultra-density network scenarios.

However, it would have been better for the nation’s industrial development if the commission had solicited input from experts before making its decision, Chen said.

With Taiwan’s limited resources, it needs international partners to venture into the global market, he added.

Given Qualcomm’s leadership in 5G-related technologies, if the collaboration deal with the ITRI continues, it would provide the institute with early access to Qualcomm Technologies’ key 5G small cell technology, including developing industry-grade quality assurance capability for communication protocol products, Chen said.

However, after Qualcomm’s withdrawal from the deal, the nation’s development of 5G technology will be affected, Chen added.

The commission last month fined Qualcomm for violating the Fair Trade Act (公平交易法), saying it has taken advantage of its monopoly status to prevent other smartphone designers from competing in the Taiwanese market for at least seven years.

The ITRI on Oct. 25 said that Qualcomm had unilaterally suspended its ongoing cooperation in 5G development.

Qualcomm has said that it will appeal the commission’s decision.

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