As the telecommunications industry moves rapidly toward LTE, LTE-Advanced, and LTE Advanced-Pro, it is becoming essential to understand how spheres of influence within LTE 3GPP standards have changed over the years. A number of companies are contributing to shape these standards, including infrastructure vendors, chipset makers, OEMs, and mobile operators.
Looking at incumbent companies as well as new entrants’ involvement in 3GPP standards provides an informative measure of each contributor's patent strength, if interpreted appropriately. Companies active in drafting cellular telecommunications standards often base their proposals on their own patented (or patent-pending) technologies. As a result, it is reasonable to assume, as a general rule, that companies that are active in creating LTE standards will have greater and/or stronger standards-essential patent portfolios than inactive companies.
Essential contributions allow companies to both cooperate and compete in the standardization process. Companies with the largest patent portfolios usually cross-license their patents, nullifying the cost of licensing from each other. Companies with smaller contributions and patent portfolios end up paying patent royalties to the larger companies and licensing essential technologies from bigger companies.
This research report evaluates the LTE 3GPP standards leadership of the top 50 companies in a way that is comprehensive, objective, and straightforward. Companies are benchmarked on the basis of their level of engagement within the 3GPP activities, including chairmanship of different working groups, involvement in rapporteurship, and most importantly, their direct contributions to the standards, notably approved contributions. The results of this study are based on a comprehensive and systematic database that ABI Research has compiled from different sources including the 3GPP and ETSI portals.
Table of Contents
- 1. OBJECTIVE
- 2. IDENTIFYING ESSENTIAL CONTRIBUTIONS TO 3GPP LTE STANDARDS
- 3. ANALYSIS OVERVIEW
- 4. ADOPTED APPROACH AND METHODOLOGY
- 4.1. Reason for Looking at Companies' Involvement in the 3GPP
- 4.2. Reasons for Evaluation Criteria
- 5. METHODOLOGY FOR THE EVALUATION OF COMPANY CONTRIBUTIONS TO LTE
- 5.1. Specifications Analyzed
- 5.2. Companies Presented
- 5.3. Selection of Data Sets
- 6. RESULTS OF THE ANALYSIS
- 6.1. Chairmanships
- 6.2. Rapporteurships
- 6.3. Contributions
- 6.4. Approved Contributions
- 7. CONCLUSIONS
- 7.1. LTE Standards Leadership
- 7.2. Leadership in Terminal-Essential Patents Portfolios