NTT DoCoMo Joint Venture To Build 4G LTE Chips Is Killed

Looks like there will be one less player in the semiconductor market meant to shape up 4G LTE chips. With LTE becoming more and more important from a global perspective, companies that craft LTE radio chips will undoubtedly make loads of money if they can land deals with phone OEMs. But it sounds like one that was destined to work at the end of last year won't even make it to the market. NTT DoCoMo, a Japanese cellular provider, has announced that it has terminated an agreement concerning the establishment of a joint venture company to develop and sell semiconductor products for mobile devices, which the company signed with Fujitsu Limited, Fujitsu Semiconductor Limited, NEC Corporation, Panasonic Mobile Communications Co., Ltd. and Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. in December 2011. Why? Here's why:

"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."

As a result, Communication Platform Planning Co., Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary that DOCOMO had 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. We've already seen the baseline price on many LTE superphones rise to $299 on a 2-year contract; hopefully that trend won't continue northward.
Tags:  LTE, Japan, wireless, Chip