Qualcomm Inc. QCOM, the largest mobile chip set manufacturer on baseband technology in the world, recently sought permission from the U.S. telecom regulator, Federal Communications Commission (FCC), to modify its license to enable 5G development testing within the 3.5 GHz frequency band.
Major U.S. telecom operators are currently exploring ways to commercialize the 3.5 GHz unlicensed wireless spectrum. Notably, the 3.5 GHz radio frequency is being considered in many parts of the world for the upcoming 5G wireless standard, increasing its chances of providing spectrum globally.
Verizon Communications Inc. VZ is planning to deploy both low- and high-power small cells using the 3.5 GHz band. T-Mobile US Inc. TMUS has applied for an experimental radio license from the FCC to test 3.5 GHz equipment in Washington State. Meanwhile, in Mar 2017, the FCC awarded AT&T Inc. T a license to test a 3.5 GHz network.
In May 2017, small-sized U.S. wireless service provider United States Cellular Corp. USM submitted an application to the FCC for a six-month special temporary authority to conduct trial runs in the 3.5 GHz band in some areas of Maine and North Carolina. The company currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
In Aug 2016, several leading tech giants formed an alliance - Citizens Broadband Radio Services (CBRS) - to explore low-cost ways for providing wireless service through unlicensed 3.5GHz band. Notable among them are Google of Alphabet Inc., Qualcomm, Intel, Ericsson and Nokia. In practice, CBRS works toward defining standards that would allow wireless carriers, enterprises, venue owners and others to deploy 4G LTE networks in the 3.5 GHz band.
Qualcomm stated that an additional 10 MHz of spectrum is necessary to support the required 100 MHz channel bandwidth for enabling 5G wireless standard testing. The intent is to operate the 4G LTE (Long-Term Evolution) and 5G networks 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for a period of one year.
Price Performance of Qualcomm
Year to date, the stock price of Qualcomm has lost 15.14% compared with 0.27% gain witnessed by the Zacks categorized Wireless Equipment industry. Aggressive competition in the mobile phone chipset market, stringent regulatory norms and anti-competitive charges are some of the major headwinds faced by the company. We believe these are the reasons behind the company currently having a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).
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