Vendors of WiMax wireless wide area networking equipment should begin to factor royalties payable to Qualcomm into their planning and pricing activities, analysts have warned.
According to ABI Research's newly-launched Mobile Broadband Research Service, this potential ongoing cost is being widely ignored by the WiMax industry.
The analyst noted that Qualcomm has long been collecting royalties for its Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) technology, and more recently for Wireless CDMA as well.
Senior ABI Research analyst Philip Solis warned that Qualcomm will " certainly continue to man the toll-booth" when it comes to licensing its intellectual property pertaining to WiMax.
"By acquiring Flarion Technologies Qualcomm added significantly to its stable of Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiplexing [OFDM] related patents, and the company will enforce them vigorously," he said.
"That has a direct bearing on the plans of WiMax vendors which must factor these royalties into their business models."
ABI said that one WiMax oriented company, Soma Networks, has "clearly been paying attention".
Soma Networks licensed Qualcomm's CDMA IPR in 2001 and announced last month that it had signed worldwide subscriber and infrastructure licence agreements with Qualcomm.
This will allow Soma Networks to develop, manufacture and sell OFDM/OFDMA subscriber units, modem cards and infrastructure equipment.
"WiMax vendors may think that they don't have to worry about Qualcomm's OFDM patents, but they are mistaken," said Solis. "Qualcomm will enforce them."
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