Chinese players rising on LTE patents

Melissa Chua
12 Jan 2011

In a climate where carriers worldwide are seeking to upgrade their networks, Chinese telecom vendors Huawei and ZTE are riding the LTE wave and show no intention of slowing down.

ZTE said Tuesday that it currently lays claim to 7% of key LTE patents as of end November last year and aims to grow this figure to 10% by next year.

Data released by ZTE said the company and bitter rival Huawei together held 15% of patents deemed ‘essential’ by LTE standards.

This rise of the Chinese telecom vendor has been a rapid one. Research firm Fairfield Resources said less than 1% of essential LTE patents were owned by Chinese companies in mid 2009.

Matt Walker, a Thailand-based analyst with research firm Ovum believes Huawei and ZTE took advantage of the economic recession that had crippling effects on their European and North American rivals, to make leaps in research and development.

He said the vendors have the strongest possible motivation to exploit the weaknesses of their Western counterparts that have been thrown into stark relief by the recession.

ZTE’s 7% claim on all LTE patents makes it the seventh highest contributor to the standard, behind Interdigital, Qualcomm, Nokia, Samsung, Huawei and Ericsson.

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