NextWave buys high-speed cellular, mobile TV expertise

In a move to offer customers a broader range of stand-alone or integrated wireless broadband systems, NextWave Wireless Inc. has agreed to acquire IPWireless Inc., a supplier of high-speed cellular technology.

The $100 million deal, announced Tuesday, adds two technologies to NextWave's wireless product portfolio: high-speed mobile TD-CDMA (Time Division Code Division Multiple Access) and a proprietary mobile TV system, called TDtv.

"We want to develop mobile technologies that are suitable for a wide variety of customers" instead of focusing on one single standard, said Roy Berger, executive vice president of marketing at NextWave.

NextWave, located in San Diego, has been developing components for Wi-Fi and WiMax wireless network technologies.

Berger said that IPWireless' expertise in TD-CDMA and other high-speed wireless networking areas are "highly relevant" to NextWave's WiMax development efforts and beyond.

"The idea of integrating Wi-Fi, WiMax and TD-CDMA into a device is certainly a possibility," Berger said. "If there are customers who want this kind of integration, we will definitely try to provide it."

The integration, Berger said, could happen at the silicon or device level.

IPWireless, based in San Bruno, California, has developed a high-speed cellular data system using TDD (Time Division Duplexing) that can send and receive data over the same channel at peak download speeds of 16M bps (bits per second).

IPWireless has supplied TD-CDMA systems to operators in several countries, including Germany, the Czech Republic and the U.K. The company has also been selected by New York to provide technology for the city's new public safety wireless network.

In addition, IPWireless has tested its TDtv system with a handful of operators, including Orange SA and Vodafone Group PLC. The systems supports up to 50 channels and operates a high travel speeds.

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