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From: FUBHO1/9/2012 4:12:41 PM
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Huawei escalates slim-phone battle; also reveals plan for LTE modem chip

eetimes.com

Junko Yoshida1/9/2012 1:17 PM EST


LAS VEGAS -- Huawei, armed with what it claims as “the world’s slimmest”smartphones, came to the Consumer Electronics Show with one mission: Blow away all the preconceptions consumers in the United States may have about a little known Chinese brand.

Newly branded “Ascend” for its mid-range to high-end mobile phones, Huawei Device -- a subsidiary of China’s telecom infrastructure giant -- is eager to make inroads in the U.S. consumer market.

Two new phones, Huawei Ascent P1 and P1S, running on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich OS, feature Samsung’s 4.3-inch AMOLED 960 x 540 touchscreen; Texas Instruments’ OMAP 4417 apps processor; and Intel’s modem supporting UMTS 5 brands. The thickness of Ascend P1S is only 6.68mm (0.26-inch), while PS1 is 7.69mm. “With TI’s dual-core processor running at 1.5GHz, our phones load Web pages much faster, leaving others behind,” said Richard Yu, chairman of Huawei Device.

Don’t think that Huawei is all about integrating other companies’ chips, though. The company has been hatching a plot to go after the modem chip market as well. Yu said, “We are rolling out our own LTE modem chip in the third quarter this year.” The new LTE chip will be multi-mode, he added.

Thus far, Huawei has been using Qualcomm’s LTE and CDMA modem chips for Huawei’s mobile phones for certain geographical markets. The company may continue to do so, but it’s important to have our own modem chips, said Yu.


Huawei’s designers stressed that both new smartphones, Ascent P1 and P1S, are not just slim but compact, designed to fit comfortably in the user's hand. They are slated for the U.S. launch before “the summer,” according to Yu.

Huawei isn’t another me-too mobile company from China, either. Yu also emphasized the company’s heritage as a telecom infrastructure leader.

“We know about infrastructure; we have designed our handsets to do faster signal detection for quicker connections.”

Asked how he plans to overcome the challenge of selling products with a little known brand in the U.S. market, Yu said, “That’s a very good question. But with the launch of our new ‘flagship’ products, featuring the best performance and the best quality of all the smartphones in the industry, we are confident that consumers will accept our products.” He noted that Huawei’s smartphones are already selling in Japan and Japanese consumers – who can be fickle at times – are embracing the new brand.

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From: FUBHO1/11/2012 4:29:56 AM
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Spreadtrum intros TD-LTE baseband modem for China market
Jessie Shen, DIGITIMES, Taipei [Wednesday 11 January 2012]

Spreadtrum Communications has introduced its first TD-LTE baseband modem, the SC9610. Designed with 40nm CMOS silicon, the SC9610 integrates multiple communication standards into a single-chip design, including multiband TD-LTE and TD-SCDMA and quad-band EDGE/GPRS/GSM.

The SC9610 achieves downlink speeds of 100Mbps and uplink speeds of 50Mbps, and supports 5, 10, 15 and 20 MHz channels and 2x2 MIMO.

Spreadtrum's SC9610 is now sampling with customers who are evaluating the chip for use in high end smartphone and datacard designs, the company disclosed. The new solution is being introduced as China Mobile begins more extensive LTE trials domestically.

"Our single-chip multi-mode TD-LTE solution is a highly integrated platform specifically designed for the communication standards in use in China," Spreadtrum president and CEO Leo Li said in a statement. "We are launching our solution as China Mobile begins more extensive trials domestically. The depth of experience we bring in TD-SCDMA products, combined with our early leadership in China's 4G network evolution, positions Spreadtrum as a long-term leading provider of multimode baseband solutions."

TD-LTE is the evolution path from 3G TD-SCDMA for China Mobile, China's largest domestic operator with more than 640 million total subscribers and an expected 50 million 3G subscribers as of the end of 2011. China Mobile has begun trials and network investment in TD-LTE and will continue to do so until commercial licenses are granted by the China government, which has also required that TD-LTE handsets be backward compatible with TD-SCDMA.

TD-LTE is one of the key LTE standards, and has been launched in Brazil, Japan, Poland and Saudi Arabia, according to ABI Research. TD-LTE deployments are also underway in Australia and Scandinavia, and large-scale TD-LTE networks are planned in the US and India.

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From: FUBHO1/16/2012 7:12:02 PM
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With 38 frequency flavors, LTE won’t unify 4G

By Kevin C. Tofel Dec. 9, 2011, 9:15am PT

gigaom.com



Next-generation LTE mobile broadband networks won’t unify global communications anytime soon, if ever. A new Wireless Intelligence (WI) report published Friday estimates more than 200 LTE networks will have launched around the world by 2015. That’s great news until you realize your LTE device won’t work on them all: 38 different frequencies are expected on these networks.




A quick look at the WI chart may give folks some ease because the majority of the LTE networks are using 700 MHz spectrum. But there are two problems. First, the 67 percent of LTE networks using 700 MHz is for this year. A look at the inner ring shows 700 MHz is still the preferred frequency for networks running in 2015, but only for 16 percent of the operators.

The second issue is that even within a range of like spectrum, carriers can use slightly different frequencies, effectively removing the ability to move a device from one network to another. This type of fragmentation is already evident in the U.S. LTE networks currently in deployment. AT&T and Verizon are both using 700 MHz blocks, but with a slight variance: Verizon’s network will use 746-787MHz, while AT&T’s is opting for 704-746MHz.

Clearing the same spectrum in every country around the world is obviously a Herculean effort, especially since regions have been using certain frequencies for years. Perhaps it isn’t even possible to do so at this point. But it’s a disappointment, as the mobile web is empowering users to think global instead of just local.

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From: FUBHO2/9/2012 10:46:17 AM
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Sequans Communications Announces Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2011 Financial Results



PARIS–( BUSINESS WIRE)–Sequans Communications S.A. (NYSE: SQNS), a 4G chipmaker supplying LTE and WiMAX chips to equipment manufacturers for mobile operators worldwide, today announced financial results for the fourth quarter and the year ended December 31, 2011.

Fourth Quarter 2011 Highlights:

Revenues, gross margin and non-IFRS loss per share are in line with guidance.

Revenue: Revenue of $11.5 million decreased 56% sequentially from the third quarter of 2011 and decreased 50% compared to the fourth quarter of 2010. The primary reason for the decrease was the decline in sales to the Company’s largest customer, following changes in the WiMAX market in the United States.

Gross margin: Gross margin was 52.0% compared to 53.6% in the third quarter of 2011 and 50.4% in the fourth quarter of 2010.

Operating income (loss): Operating loss was $5.0 million compared to an operating profit of $1.9 million in the third quarter of 2011 and an operating profit of $0.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2010.

Net Profit (Loss): Net loss was $5.6 million, or ($0.16) per diluted share/ADS, compared to a net profit of $3.2 million, or $0.09 per diluted share/ADS in the third quarter of 2011 and a net loss of $2.8 million, or ($0.10) per diluted share/ADS in the fourth quarter of 2010.

Non-IFRS Net Profit (Loss): Excluding stock-based compensation and the change in the fair value of the option component of convertible notes, non-IFRS net loss was $4.3 million, or ($0.12) per diluted share/ADS, compared to a non-IFRS net profit of $2.8 million, or $0.08 per diluted share/ADS in the third quarter of 2011, and a non-IFRS net loss of $0.2 million, or ($0.01) per diluted share/ADS, in the fourth quarter of 2010.

Full Year 2011 Highlights:

Revenue of $93.7 million in 2011 increased 37% over 2010 revenue, while gross margin remained stable at 50.5% in 2011 compared to 51.0% in 2010.

2011 included an operating profit of $1.1 million compared to an operating loss of $0.5 million in 2010, while the net loss decreased to $0.4 million ($0.01 loss per diluted share/ADS) in 2011, from a net loss of $2.7 million ($0.11 loss per diluted share/ADS) in 2010. Excluding stock-based compensation and the change in the fair value of the option component of convertible notes, non-IFRS net profit was $3.7 million, or $0.11 per diluted share/ADS in 2011, compared to a non-IFRS net profit of $0.5 million, or $0.02 per diluted share/ADS in 2010.

In millions of $US except percentages,

shares and per share amounts

Key Metrics
Tables omitted



“Owing to a very strong first half, overall 2011 was a very good year for Sequans, with revenues up 37% and operating leverage leading to a nearly seven-fold increase in non-IFRS profit,” said Georges Karam, Sequans CEO. “Our Q4 results and Q1 guidance reflect the fact that our largest customer for WiMAX chips is continuing to focus on reducing inventory after an abrupt shift in strategy by Sprint in the U.S. Although new WiMAX devices were recently introduced by operators in Japan and Korea and we expect orders from our largest customer to resume in 2012, the market for WiMAX chips is expected to be smaller in 2012 than originally expected. Given our strong product offering, we anticipate continuing to have a major share of the available market.

“Our long term future is based on the growth of chips for LTE devices and this has been our development focus for some time. We are very pleased with our early traction in LTE. Although our second generation chips have only been sampling for a short time, we have already achieved design wins with nine device vendors. These customers are working closely with operators in the largest LTE markets — the U.S., China and India, as well as in some smaller markets in Southeast Asia, Japan, the Middle East, Australia and Brazil.

“We are positioned to be a strong participant in the LTE market based on the advantages of our solution, which include an ultra-efficient modem design enabling superior performance with 150Mb/s Category 4 throughput, very low power consumption and an extremely small footprint.In addition, we are planning to introduce a number of additional advanced features that are eagerly anticipated by wireless carriers. In addition, we believe we are the only vendor offering a dual 4G chip for devices supporting both WiMAX and LTE, which will benefit operators planning a gradual transition to LTE.

“Our LTE plan is on track and we are pleased with our progress in gaining initial design wins in all major LTE markets around the world. We continue to expect LTE revenue from data devices to begin ramping during the second half of this year,” concluded Mr. Karam.

Outlook

The following statements are based on management’s current assumptions and expectations. These statements are forward-looking and actual results may differ materially. Sequans undertakes no obligation to update these statements.

Sequans expects revenue for the first quarter of 2012 to be in the range of $4 to $5 million, with gross margin around 50%. Based on this revenue range and expected gross margin, non-IFRS net loss per diluted share/ADS is expected to be between ($0.27) and ($0.29) for the first quarter of 2012, with approximately 34.7 million weighted average number of diluted shares/ADSs. Non-IFRS EPS guidance excludes the impact of stock based compensation.

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From: FUBHO2/16/2012 12:14:32 PM
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'In India, huge volume deployment will happen in the second half of 2013'

Pravin PrashantTuesday, February 14, 2012


India is the second largest market for TD-LTE in the world. How is Sequans looking at this market?

With respect to TD-LTE, China is delaying their deployment whereas Indian operators will start their deployment in 2012. In India, we are heavily involved with all the vendors and operators both on eNodeB and IOT (inter operator testing). Our strategy is to bring multiple devices so that the early market for TD-LTE can be captured by nomadics using CPE, dongle, and hotspot.

In India, huge volume deployments will happen in the second half of 2013, where we can see large additions in the market. We are targeting both fixed and mobile broadband. In India, CPE will play a major role followed by tablets with embedded LTE modem.

How are things progressing with respect to the TD-LTE ecosystem?

The eco-system wrt TD-LTE is getting pretty much stable. The eNodeB vendors have done their IOT testing and they have also shown performance throughput, sensitivity and user experience for different operators. We are providing technical support to all eNodeB vendors and operators, and will continue to do so.

What are your India plans? Do you plan to set up your R&D facility in the country?

We have R&D centers in France, UK, Israel, and Ukraine. We do not have a development facility in India and we have no plans as of now. We are willing to expand our India operations in terms of business development, revenue generation, and support infrastructure. In terms of chip development or application development we are satisfied with whatever facility we have worldwide.

When do we see TD-LTE CPE devices available in large numbers for the Indian consumer?

Today dongles or CPEs are available in small numbers. Hotspots would be available in Q2, 2012 and smartphone/tablet in H2, 2012. The chipsets for all these would be available in Q12012, as presently chip manufacturers are doing sampling based on 40 nm technology.

Who are the Sequans partners focusing on the India market?

We have close to 7-8 partners worldwide-Netcom, Gemtek and Telenet. Telenet Systems, an Indian player and Gemtek, a Taiwanese player is focusing on the India market and is designing consumer devices for the India market. The company has also signed up with two more ODM partners and would announce their names in a couple of months.

Who are your competitors in the TD-LTE chipset market and where do they stand with respect to the release of chips for CPE devices?

Chip manufacturers who are focusing on TD-LTE are Qualcomm, Altair, Intel Mobile Communications, ST-Ericsson, and Marvel. All of them are working on the same timeframe and they all will be ready by 2012. We are expecting Release 10 to be ready by early 2013.

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From: FUBHO2/24/2012 8:42:45 PM
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Huawei Preps LTE TDD Smartphone

FEBRUARY 24, 2012 | Ray Le Maistre |
lightreading.com;


Keen to position itself as an invaluable partner to carriers with Long Term Evolution Time Division Duplex (LTE TDD) ambitions, Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. is preparing to launch a smartphone that supports the emerging next-generation mobile technology during the second half of 2012.

Having already launched its LTE TDD/FDD/UMTS/GSM multi-mode Mobile Wi-Fi device in January, the vendor is now getting ready to support the rollout of commercial LTE TDD services with a smart handset. (See Huawei Unveils LTE TDD Wi-Fi Device.)

The move makes sense. Huawei is a major supplier of network infrastructure and handsets in the three main markets where LTE TDD technology is set to be deployed on a mass scale in the near term -- China, India and Japan. (See Softbank Preps Pseudo-LTE TDD Service, Sequans, Huawei Team for LTE-TDD Trial, India Inches Closer to LTE TDD, Vendors Fight for LTE TDD Deals , Huawei Launches Trial 4G Network for China Mobile and Global TDD Initiative Launched at MWC 2011.)

Indeed, the company's chief branding officer for wireless networks, Robert Fox, says that of the 18 commercial LTE TDD network deals Huawei knows about, it is involved in 13, with more to come, including an "upcoming announcement in India," says Fox. (See Huawei Lands LTE TDD Deal in Nigeria, Euronews: Dual-Mode LTE Network Goes Live, Mobily Preps LTE TDD Launch and Making the Case for LTE TDD in Malaysia.)

Will Huawei be first with smartphone for LTE TDD? Very possibly not, as ZTE Corp. (Shenzhen: 000063; Hong Kong: 0763) has already been showing off such a device.

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From: FUBHO3/16/2012 11:41:10 AM
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Vendor perspective: Attitude shift
Sequans was asked by China Mobile back in 2009 to develop chips for its TD-LTE trial network at the Shanghai Expo. As Sequans marketing executive Craig Miller puts it, "What are you going to do, say no to the world's largest operator?"

The company had a long history with WiMAX, which is also a TDD technology, and had sample TD-LTE chipsets available for China Mobile in a matter of months. China Mobile's TD-LTE evangelizing "legitimized" the use of unpaired spectrum for time-division-duplex-based wireless service, Miller says.

"Most of the traditional providers of cellular technology have been what I call 'FDD bigots' – they've been very anti-TDD for years, and for good reason," Miller says.

It's easy to understand why providers with a long history in voice-centric network design favor FDD. Early wireless networks were built for voice, so frequency-division-duplex was ideal because it is symmetric and allows signals to be sent and received at the same time – a good fit when you're talking about as much as you're listening.

But that model no longer applied as the industry moved to more data-centric services. Time-division duplexing allows providers to adjust the uplink/downlink ratio, lending itself more flexibly to download-heavy data traffic.

The unpaired spectrum that was once a forgotten set of bands is now being put to use for TD-LTE, helping to change longstanding attitudes of time-division duplexing.

"Now I think people see a lot of value in having TDD spectrum for some of these high-capacity, high-speed networks a lot of countries will need," Miller says. As an added benefit, the spectrum is abundant in many markets – Clearwire has about 160 MHz of 2.5 GHz spectrum across the country’s top 100 markets.

Bill Clifford, vice president of Alcatel-Lucent's LTE product line, agrees with Miller's characterization of the industry's change in attitude. "There has been industry bias toward the usefulness of TDD spectrum, at least in the old days," Clifford says. "With this adoption of TD-LTE, I definitely don’t see that bias anymore."

Like Sequans, Alcatel-Lucent was a participant in the Shanghai Expo demo. Years after the influential trial, Clifford is bullish on the standard's prospects.

"There's a significant amount of spectrum that is TDD-only. Spectrum, as we all know, is a highly valuable item, and it's not going to sit fallow for long," he says. "WiMAX is fading away, and the natural technology to take over is TD-LTE. It's a boom, it's happening, it's for real."

Qualcomm technical marketing director Rasmus Hellberg agrees, but thinks it might be time to stop thinking separately about TD-LTE and FDD-LTE.

“It’s not two ecosystems, it’s one ecosystem – it just has two flavors,” he says. Qualcomm has taken that to heart, incorporating both technologies in its LTE chips.

Maravedis estimates that 31 operators had committed to launching TD-LTE by the end of last year. The firm predicts that by 2016, about one-quarter of the world’s estimated 469 million LTE subscribers will use the time-division version of the technology.

So with China Mobile and its 650 million wireless subscribers onboard, could TD-LTE eventually outpace FDD-LTE? Rehbehn isn’t ready to go that far, calling the standard a “sleeping giant.” If the technology maintains its current trajectory, that giant just might wake up.

cedmagazine.com

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To: FUBHO who wrote (30)3/17/2012 12:49:17 AM
From: SirRealist
   of 206
 
Been watching this stock this week, as it's about ready to start its earnings report run. My Bollinger bands suggest it's likely going to uptick sometime next week and there's gonna be a lotta uphill from there.

I'm buying.

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From: FUBHO3/26/2012 12:44:30 PM
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Sequans Communications Needs Resuscitating

ithacaexperiment.blogspot.com
MONDAY, MARCH 26, 2012

Sequans Communications (SQNS) has left investors holding the bag almost since its IPO in April, 2011. The stock debuted at $8/share, then turned into a money gusher for a scant 30 days when it topped out at $19 in late May. It's been all downhill since then, and the stock has been trading in the two dollar range for well over four months. After doing quite a bit of research on pure-play wireless equities, I took a position in it, based not so much what it is doing today, but what it may be doing in the next few years.According to their corporate profile: "Sequans Communications is a 4G chipmaker, supplying LTE and WiMAX chips to original equipment manufacturers and original design manufacturers worldwide. Founded in 2003 to address the WiMAX opportunity where it is now a global leader, Sequans expanded in 2009 to address the LTE market. Sequans’ chips are inside leading 4G networks around the world. Sequans is based in Paris, with additional offices in USA, United Kingdom, Israel, Hong Kong, Singapore, China and Taiwan.".

Good enough, but why did investors get caught off guard, and, the stock become the whipping boy in the semiconductor sector? Edward Schneider gives an explanation in a report from the Mobile World Congress: "Sequans stock was massacred by a major drop-off in WiMax chip revenues. Sprint (S), Sequans largest customer, suddenly switched to an iPhone (AAPL) platforms last year, and suspended its WiMax chip orders.".

The article also goes on to say: "Some investors worry about larger competitors like Texas Instruments (TXN), Samsung (SSNLF.PK), and Marvell (MRVL) among others that will be entering the LTE chip arena. All things being equal, these larger competitors have lower costs than Sequans. But all things are not equal. Sequans LTE chip is on average 2x to 3x smaller and five generations more advanced than those of its peers.". Superior technology doesn't guarantee success, but it does give them a fighting chance in a sector that is poised for accelerated expansion.

The Sequans IPO Prospectus discusses the growth in their addressable market for the next few years: "According to ABI Research, the number of 4G chipsets shipped annually will increase from 14.5 million in 2010 to 245.9 million in 2014, representing a CAGR of approximately 103%.". The potential for reaching new customers is tremendous. GTI estimates that TD-LTE will cover two billion people in 2014. It's up to the subscribers in 3G smartphones and feature phones to upgrade, but the option will be in place.

Going back to the prospectus: "Our LTE solutions are currently in trials with wireless carriers in the United States and China, where China Mobile (CHL) has successfully demonstrated its LTE capabilities using our solution at the World Expo in Shanghai and at the Asian Games in Guangzhou, which were both held in 2010. Our solutions are incorporated into devices sold by many leading OEMs and ODMs, including HTC, Huawei, MitraStar Technology (a spin-off of Zyxel), Gemtek, Sagemcom, Teltonika, Accton Wireless Broadband and ZTE.".

Sequans' past relationship with China Mobile is intriguing because of the Hong Kong based red chip's 600 million customer base. This is the largest wireless subscriber base globally. Sequans was asked by China Mobile to develop semiconductors for its TD-LTE network at the previously mentioned Shanghai Expo. This doesn't necessarily mean the two organizations will be in partnership when the advanced wireless broadband service is deployed in The People's Republic, but it gives Sequans a foot in the door.

In fact, at the Mobile World Congress, China Mobile said it would begin large-scale trials of the 4G technology. The company is set to deploy 200,000 TD-LTE base stations by the end of next year. However, there was an unofficial report earlier this month that the Chinese government may delay granting the required TD- LTE licences for 2 to 3 years. I'm not sure if this report is true or not, but it did rock the mobile world, at least in the Far East. Investors got wind of it and put additional pressure on Sequans' stock price.

There's always the tango between value and growth, and I'm not sure where Sequans fits. Although it's been left for dead, it could be part of a highlight reel if it can stay solvent, and, 4G networks are introduced at a rapid pace. They have the leading edge technology, but lets look at the numbers before you go out and buy some shares. After all, at this juncture, they are not a profitable company.

Six analysts cover the stock on Yahoo Finance. For the current year, the company is expected to lose $.68/share with revenues of 37.38 million dollars. For 2013, they are expected to have a deficit of $.21/share and sales of 81.81 million dollars. Not exactly breaking the bank, but they are projected to make progress going forward. Current price/sales is one, and, price/book is at one single digit, too. Very reasonable valuations.

Only 19% of the outstanding shares are held by institutions, so if Sequans catches fire, it will be a full-tilt ride to the upside as mutual funds and pension plans pile in. I know they have an uphill battle, but all companies do. One of my reasons for owning it is that if their technology is all it's cracked up to be; they may be acquired by a larger company. At it's current valuation, I feel my downside is limited unless they file chapter 11.

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To: FUBHO who wrote (32)3/26/2012 2:21:41 PM
From: FUBHO
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The article also goes on to say: "Some investors worry about larger competitors like Texas Instruments (TXN), Samsung (SSNLF.PK), and Marvell (MRVL) among others that will be entering the LTE chip arena. All things being equal, these larger competitors have lower costs than Sequans. But all things are not equal. Sequans LTE chip is on average 2x to 3x smaller and five generations more advanced than those of its peers.". Superior technology doesn't guarantee success, but it does give them a fighting chance in a sector that is poised for accelerated expansion.

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