LTE chipmaker Wavesat and LGS Innovations, an independent subsidiary of Alcatel-Lucent that serves federal government markets, announced a collaboration deal that will see the two develop LTE-based mobile-device equipment for both private- and public-network applications.

Wavesat will offer to LGS the necessary silicon, software, reference designs and support for user equipment, along with reference-design information for selected LGS partners. The two will look for opportunities to apply Wavesat's LTE chip technology to various LTE solutions.

According to Anil Barot, vice president of marketing and business development with Wavesat, the deal will help LTE move into the military, public-safety and enterprise markets, and bring economies of scale to these markets.

"It opens the door for multiple markets," Barot said. "LGS can go to market and offer solutions into these domains without having to go back and choose different silicon as the standards change, since our architecture is based on SDR (software-defined radio)."

In a recent report, Will Strauss, president and principal analyst with Forward Concepts, said that Wavesat currently is sampling its OD9010 LTE modem chip, and the company plans to release a multifunction cell-phone modem next year that not only offers LTE but also includes all known 3G protocols on the same chip.
Barot believes that LTE will penetrate vertical markets rather quickly, not only because the world is aligning on one standard, but also because by early 2011 RF baseband chips will be in the $25 to $30 range, thanks to the ability to put chip elements on a single die.

In recent months, consolidation within the chip market has begun accelerating as Broadcom recently purchased WiMAX/LTE chipmaker Beceem for $316 million, while Qualcomm purchased LTE chipmaker Sandbridge Technologies, according to a report from Strauss.

Meanwhile, Intel recently acquired Infineon's wireless chip business, and Infineon recently purchased Blue Wonder Communications, a German LTE specialist. Infineon and Blue Wonder have been working together for the past 18 months on developing LTE baseband solutions.

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