Feature Article

April 04, 2012

NTT DoCoMo Joint Venture to Fabricate LTE Chips is Terminated

With LTE networks spreading across the globe like wildfire, semiconductor suppliers are racing to deliver radio chips to 4G markets around the world. In fact, they are competing aggressively to win sockets in the emerging mobile phones. However, with one such company, a joint venture between several major Japanese companies and a Korean consumer giant will not make it to the market.

HotHardware.com reports that a joint venture between Japan’s largest wireless carrier NTT DoCoMo and some consumer semiconductor suppliers will be terminated. In fact, this idea of developing and selling semiconductor chips for LTE and LTE-Advanced mobile communications applications under a joint venture was inked last December between NTT DoCoMo and Fujitsu Limited, Fujitsu Semiconductor Limited, NEC Corp., Panasonic Mobile Communications Co., Ltd. and Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.

“The joint-venture agreement was terminated because a consensus on the details of the envisioned company could not be reached by the target deadline, the end of March,” wrote HotHardware technical writer Ray Willington. An NTT DoCoMo spokesperson said, “The various stakeholders each had their own ideas, and an agreement could not be reached by the March deadline.”  However, the company declined to provide any further details.

As a result, according to Willington’s report, Communication Platform Planning Co., Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary that was established to prepare for the formation of the joint-venture company, will be liquidated in June. “It's unclear if there were really other factors at play here, but existing LTE builders are surely happy about the news,” wrote Willington.

PCWorld.com reported that in Japan, NTT DoCoMo currently operates an LTE service under the brand name Xi, which was launched at the end of 2010. As per this report, Japan’s two other major carriers, KDDI and Softbank, are preparing to launch in the future. Meanwhile, a smaller service provider, eMobile, unveiled its own service last month, reports PCWorld.com.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

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