Qualcomm’s chipsets gain ground in China
Chipset giant Qualcomm has increased share in China’s smartphone production market as a number of handset vendors renewed licensing agreements with the US company.

China-based vendors, including Xiaomi, Huawei, ZTE and TCL, signed new licensing agreements with Qualcomm with lower royalty payments with improved chip prices, sources told DigiTimes.

The chipmaker has long faced troubles in China, which were only resolved a year ago. Last February Qualcomm was fined $975 million by China’s antitrust regulator and agreed to modify its licensing practices and reduce royalties to satisfy the government’s anti-competitive ruling.

While the company reduced prices for handset chips, it is still allowed to collect royalties based on the production cost of the entire handset rather than on unit prices of single chips as it did before, the sources noted.

Last week at CES in Las Vegas Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf unveiled a number of customer wins, including fast-rising Chinese vendor Letv for its Snapdragon 820 chipset and Audi for its automotive processor.

Apple screen supplier Biel Crystal plans $2B IPO in HK
Biel Crystal, a leading supplier of glass screens for mobile devices, is planning an IPO in Hong Kong that expects to raise an estimated $2 billion, IFR reported.

The company said it will name investment banks in the next few months and aims to go public by the end of the year.

Biel is a major supplier of glass substrates for Apple, Samsung as well as others such as Huawei, Lenovo, Xiaomi and Coolpad.

The Hong Kong-based firm has a workforce of more than 100,000 employees, with factories in Shenzhen and Huizhou in China. In 2014 it expanded its production capacity to include sapphire substrates after forming a joint venture with Roshow Technologies.

ZTE supports AIS subscriber data migration
Thailand’s largest mobile operator AIS has migrated its 38 million subscribers from its existing home location registers (HLRs) to ZTE’s universal subscriber profile platform (USPP).

Before the USPP platform was launched commercially, the two companies conducted proof-of-concept tests that covered extreme conditions, such as an overload with up to nine times the normal traffic.

ZTE’s USPP simultaneously supports subscribers on GSM, UMTS and LTE networks, and allows operators to deploy VoLTE and VoWiFi services.

ZTE said it has deployed the USPP solution at 155 operators in 86 countries.

Nokia powers Beach Energy’s private LTE network
Beach Energy, Australia’s largest onshore oil producer, contracted Nokia Networks and Challenge Networks to deploy a private LTE network across its western Cooper Basin field area.

Nokia supplied its Flexi Multiradio 10 base stations and Flexi Zone small cells. Challenge Networks, which specialises in delivering private LTE networks, said the project – from order to launch — was completed in less than eight weeks.

The new network enables Beach Energy’s staff to access key systems, facilities and production information, reducing requirements for travel between sites, making operations more efficient, saving money and significantly enhancing safety, said Neil Gibbins, acting CEO at Beach Energy.