Qualcomm acquires stake in Alcatel-Lucent; forges R&D partnership

Chip maker Qualcomm has struck an R&D partnership with infrastructure vendor Alcatel-Lucent as well as acquiring a stake in the equipment manufacturer.

The two plan to collaborate on developing small cell base stations that enhance 3G, 4G and wifi networks in residential and enterprise environments. They said that they intend to accelerate the adoption of small cells and alleviate the impact of mobile data on wireless networks.

According to news agency Reuters, Qualcomm will acquire a less than five per cent stake in the vendor in a deal worth around €100m.

The two companies plan to jointly invest in a research and development program to develop the next generation of Alcatel-Lucent small cell products featuring Qualcomm chipsets.

Chairman and CEO of Qualcomm Dr Paul Jacobs outlined the chip maker’s plans to drastically increase capacity in mobile networks at the company’s IQ event in Moscow last month. The vendor believes that, by using its technology, operators will be able to provide a thousand times more bandwidth capacity than today, while also reducing costs.

“The fundamental concept behind the 1000x vision is that today, the cellular network is “Outside-In”. The tower is outside and the network comes inside to where you are with your device,” he said.

“But an “Inside Out” network, where the network is inside with me, and it leaves to go outside when necessary, can radically increase data rates. Using small cells, we can offload 15 per cent of the capacity used with just two per cent of the small cells that are currently out there today.”

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