Intel’s Investment in the Tsinghua Unigroup Is a Game Changer in the LTE ICs

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4Q 2014 | IN-1020606

The Value from Partnering with Spreadtrum


Last week, Intel confirmed that it will invest US$1.5 billion for 20% stake in Tsinghua Unigroup, the parent company of two key mobile chipset suppliers: Spreadtrum, the third-largest mobile supplier by volume, and RDA, a leading RF components supplier. Intel entered the mobile phone market quite late and since then has struggled to win market share in an environment increasingly dominated by Qualcomm in the high-end segment and MediaTek and Spreadtrum in the low-end part of the market. This investment could change the fortune of Intel in the mobile phone market, notably the LTE segment, a market overwhelmingly dominated by Qualcomm but where opportunities are looming since LTE penetration from total mobile subscribers is still too low, not exceeding 5%.

Spreadtrum ranks third as a mobile modem supplier with 15.5% market share. The company has established its name in the affordable mobile phone market, but it is struggling to entrench in higher-end segments. The compan...

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