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Broadcom to Begin Selling LTE Chips Challenging Qualcomm

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Feb. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Broadcom Corp. is supplying samples of a mobile-phone chip that supports the fastest data speeds, joining the race to try to break Qualcomm Inc.’s market dominance.

Broadcom’s chip supporting the Long-Term Evolution, or LTE, standard will probably begin generating revenue next year, Chief Executive Officer Scott McGregor said in an interview.

McGregor is trying to build Broadcom’s success in other areas of connectivity -- it’s the top provider of so-called combo chips that deliver Wi-Fi and Bluetooth -- into a stake in the market for phone modems and processors, where Qualcomm leads. LTE capability will open up opportunities in markets such as the U.S., Japan and South Korea, according to Will Strauss, an analyst at Forward Concepts Co., based in Mesa, Arizona.

“There’s no way you get a top-tier phone in the U.S. unless you’ve got LTE,” Strauss said. “Qualcomm and Samsung pretty much owned the market last year.”

Qualcomm supplied 86 percent of the 47 million LTE-capable chips shipped last year, while Samsung Electronics Co. supplied 9 percent to its own handset division, according to Strauss. Qualcomm’s dominance will continue until next year, when other companies such as Broadcom, Nvidia Corp., Intel Corp. and Renesas Electronics Corp. offer competing products, he said.

Broadcom, based in Irvine, California, will offer a chip that has enhanced capabilities, including support for voice-over LTE, and yet is smaller than current offerings, McGregor said.

“It really opens it up to customers and choice,” he said. “Our product is very strong. These are advanced LTE products.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Ian King in San Francisco at ianking@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tom Giles at tgiles5@bloomberg.net

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