CHICAGO—NextWave Wireless’ semiconductor business has been talking to operators for nearly two years now, and it’s currently focused on bringing its knowledge to the device manufacturer community.
“I think we’re poised for a great year,” said Craig Miller, vice president of marketing for NextWave’s semiconductor unit.
NextWave’s semiconductor business employs some 200 people, most of them based in San Diego. But they’ve been racking up the airline miles, traveling to Korea, Japan, Europe, the Middle East, India and elsewhere to meet with operators and learn their business models. “We have been to every continent on the planet,” he said. “We spent a lot of upfront time with operators.”
NextWave executives believe the company is unique in that respect to some of its rivals in the chip business. “Ultimately, WiMAX succeeds or fails on the business success of the operator, its ability to get subscribers signed up, compelling services delivered and cool devices into the hands of users,” he added. “This isn’t just about building a great chip, which we do. It’s understanding how operators monetize” and OEMs can be successful.
The company has talked to close to 100 device makers. Last summer, it announced a deal with a Taiwan OEM, and more announcements are expected relatively soon.