The market for chipsets containing LTE baseband processors has ramped up quickly, and is fraught with competition. 15 companies offer over 35 chipsets with LTE, from singlemode LTE chipsets to multimode chipsets integrated with application processors and wireless connectivity. ABI Research’s latest Competitive Assessment ranked Qualcomm first in LTE baseband product features and other attributes, followed by ST-Ericsson and Sequans.

Qualcomm is extremely strong across the board and has the highest market share for baseband solution in handsets, resulting in a position far out in front of its competitors. ST-Ericsson has strong products on the market with competitive features. Sequans has a wide range of products, a focus on single-mode LTE that the bigger vendors do not yet address, and highly unique product offerings to address future LTE-enabled products.

The winner for Innovation was Qualcomm, with Broadcom and ST-Ericsson tied for second. Only Qualcomm has a fully integrated platform across application processor, baseband, and wireless connectivity. ST-Ericsson and Renesas Mobile have integrated solutions across application processor and baseband.  All have products supporting LTE in both FDD and TDD modes, up-to-date 3GPP Release support, and differentiated products.

The winner for Implementation was Qualcomm, with Sequans in second, and Altair and GCT tied for third. Sequans, Altair, and GCT offer LTE-only solutions that enable them to compete against the established vendors who do not offer LTE-only solutions yet.

“It is curious that ST-Ericsson would be broken up just as it finally came out with highly competitive product features and was possibly the closest to competing against Qualcomm’s Snapdragon in the future across application processor, baseband processor, and wireless connectivity. In one year we expect these results to look very different given solutions coming to market, and this shift will be vital to gain traction in the exploding market for LTE devices,” commented research director Philip Solis.

The Competitive Assessment, “LTE Baseband Semiconductor Vendors,” is part of ABI Research’s Mobile Device Semiconductors Research Service and LTE Database.