February 13, 2006

Nokia expected to roll-out TD-SCDMA offering…is a decision on 3G licensing close at hand?

Filed under: Wireless — Administrator @ 11:40 am

Back in November 2005, Nokia Greater China customer service and marketing SVP Zhao told Beijing Star Daily that Nokia was considering a move into TD-SCDMA handsets. Yesterday, Sohu.com reported on Nokia’s 2006 China Strategy, specifically noting Nokia’s move into manufacturing TD-SCDMA handsets.

Obviously, this isn’t earth shattering news (Motorola and Siemens have already moved in this direction), however it does provide another piece to the 3G “when will we get a decision on licensing” puzzle — in other words, if Nokia has spent the past four months chatting up their TD-SCDMA handsets then it is a good bet they had some “information” others might not (i.e. we might be closer to 3G “go” time then we think). As such, we’re revising our 3G licensing decision timeline from Q107 to Q306.

A small ancillary benefit from Nokia’s move into TD-SCDMA is that it should expedite the development of TD-SCDMA handsets with their massive R&D teams and experience in commercializing new technologies.

It will be interesting to watch what comes out of the 3GSM World Congress over the next several days regarding the 3G licensing decision in China.

UPDATE (2/14):
Today, Sina.com noted the 3G royalty negotiation between the Chinese government and Qualcomm has run into a stalemate. This negotiation is carried out by the Ministry of Information Industries on behalf of all Chinese vendors, covering TD-SCDMA, WCDMA, and CDMA 2000.

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