Taiwanese chip-maker MediaTek has scored a major deal with NTT Docomo to supply chipsets for the Japanese mobile operator’s forthcoming range of LTE smartphones. In a statement, Docomo said the deal marks the first license agreement for LTE-PF, an LTE-based platform jointly developed by Docomo, NEC CASIO, Panasonic and Fujitsu in Japan. The agreement enables MediaTek to provide devices that integrate LTE-PF for mobile markets worldwide, including Japan, for which Docomo will receive a license fee. “The agreement with MediaTek will be the starting point for LTE-PF’s global expansion,” said Docomo’s Toshio Miki. “We believe LTE-PF chipsets produced by a globally renowned company with a proven track record like MediaTek will create more opportunities both for Japanese mobile phone manufacturers to go global and overseas manufacturers to enter the Japanese market.”
The deal is thought to be MediaTek’s first win in the LTE space. “MediaTek has earned a market-leading reputation in the 2G era. We will continue to innovate from 2G into 3G and 3G into LTE,” said Ming-Kai Tsai, chairman and CEO of MediaTek. Under the licensing agreement, MediaTek says it will promote and market its LTE-PF-based mobile platform to its global customers and partners. A Financial Times blog today notes that the deal brings MediaTek further up to speed with international chip rivals such as Qualcomm and will allow it to diversify into mature markets such as Japan. It already sells chips to major phone brands such as Samsung and LG. For Docomo, the deal with MediaTek is seen as a way to bolster its own-branded line-up of phones and reduce the need to provide subsidies for other brands’ phones.