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Former Qualcomm CEO launches 5G startup

Paul Jacobs, who ran Qualcomm for a decade, has launched a new company designed to tackle technological challenges faced by next-gen mobile communications.

The company is called XCOM and currently has very little to say for itself other than listing Jacobs (center, above) as CEO, former Qualcomm President Derek Aberle (right) as COO and former Qualcomm CTO Matt Grob (left) as, you guessed it, CTO. There might not be a press release but at least there’s a hashtag – #keepinventing – although it doesn’t seem to have caught on yet.

Aberle seems to have granted interviews to a couple of US media. “Our feeling is there’s not enough investment happening around communications and wireless tech in the US in particular,” Aberle said to CNET.

“There’s still a fair amount of work that needs to be done to prove out the applicability of 5G through various Internet of Things applications,” he told CNBC. “We feel we have some better ideas for how to do some of that stuff.”

So it seems like we’re looking at an R&D company that will seek to license its patents to the broader telecoms world. This would seem to play to the strengths and experience of these former Qualcomm execs and they’re already recruiting engineers.

When Jacobs left Qualcomm earlier this year he expressed a desire to take the company founded by his father into private hands. Aberle made it clear that this project is unrelated to the Qualcomm stuff.

“It’s unclear where the take private plan will go or how long that will take,” Aberle told CNBC. “But this is not an either/or. We are pursuing this new company and we have high expectations and confidence in the take-private plan.” In the CNET interview he said that process may be contingent on how the NXP thing plays out.

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