Qualcomm Moves Beyond Cellular with Atheros

By Cindy Waxer January 05, 2011

Hoping to satisfy consumers’ increasing demand for WiFi-supported devices, Qualcomm has announced plans to acquire Atheros, a company specializing in technologies for wireless and wired local area connectivity.

Qualcomm has agreed to purchase Atheros for $45 per share in cash, representing an enterprise value of $3.1 billion. The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2011.

"It is Qualcomm's strategy to continually integrate additional technologies into mobile devices to make them the primary way that people communicate, compute and access content. This acquisition is a natural extension of that strategy into other types of devices," said Dr. Paul E. Jacobs, chairman and CEO of Qualcomm, in a statement. "The combination of Qualcomm and Atheros is intended to accelerate this opportunity by utilizing best-in-class products for communications, computing and consumer electronics to broaden existing customer relationships and expand access to new partners and distribution channels.

"That’s not to suggest that Atheros executives will be left behind. Rather, the company’s current president and CEO, Dr. Craig H. Barratt, is expected to join Qualcomm as president of Qualcomm Networking & Connectivity.

Last month, AT&T purchased spectrum licenses in the 700 MHz frequency band from Qualcomm for $1.925 billion. According to a press release from the telco giant, “the move will bolster AT&T’s ability to provide an advanced 4G mobile broadband experience for its customers in the years ahead.”

As it stands, Qualcomm uses the licenses to support the service business of FLO TV Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Qualcomm. Qualcomm plans to shutter its FLO TV business and network in March 2011.

The spectrum currently covers more than 300 million people total nationwide: 12 MHz of Lower 700 MHz D and E block spectrum covers more than 70 million people in five of the top 15 U.S. metropolitan areas -- New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and San Francisco; 6 MHz of lower 700 MHz D block spectrum covers more than 230 million people across the rest of the U.S.




Edited by Tammy Wolf

TechZone360 Contributing Editor

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