In 1989, Qualcomm publicly introduced the concept that a digital communication technique called CDMA could be commercially successful in cellular wireless communication applications. CDMA stands for Code Division Multiple Access and is one of the main technologies currently used in digital wireless communications networks (also known as wireless networks). CDMA and TDMA (Time Division Multiple Access), of which Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) is the primary commercial form, are the primary digital technologies currently used to transmit a wireless device user’s voice or data over radio waves using a public cellular wireless network. Because Qualcomm led, and continues to lead, the development and commercialization of CDMA technology, it owns significant intellectual property, including patents, patent applications and trade secrets, which applies to all versions of CDMA, portions of which it licenses to other companies and implements in its own products. The wireless communications industry generally recognizes that a company seeking to develop, manufacture and/or sell products that use CDMA technology will require a patent license from Qualcomm.

Qualcomm also continues its leading role in the development and commercialization of Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing Access (OFDMA)-based technologies for which it have substantial intellectual property. Its CDMA licensees’ sales of multimode CDMA and OFDMA devices are covered by their existing CDMA license agreements with it. Qualcomm has begun to license companies to make and sell OFDMA products that do not also implement CDMA, and nine companies have royalty-bearing licenses under our patent portfolio for use in such OFDMA products.

Qualcomm generates revenues by licensing portions of our intellectual property to manufacturers of wireless products (such as mobile devices, also known as subscriber units, which include handsets, other consumer devices and modem cards, and the infrastructure required to establish and operate a wireless network). It receives licensing fees and royalties on products sold by its licensees that incorporate its patented technologies. It also sells products and services: 

-CDMA-based integrated circuits and Radio Frequency (RF) and Power Management (PM) chips and system software used in mobile devices and in wireless networks

-Software products and services for content enablement across a wide variety of platforms and devices for the wireless industry

-Equipment, software and services used by companies, including those in the transportation industry and governments, to wirelessly connect with their assets and workforce

-Software products and services that enable mobile commerce services 

-Services to wireless operators delivering multimedia content, including live television, in the United States 

-Software and hardware development services.

STEM Ed Initiatives: 

Qualcomm is committed to improving science, technology, engineering and math education (STEM) for students during their primary, secondary, and higher education years, and to expanding educational opportunities for under-represented students. 

Project K-nect - Created jointly with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and Digital Millennial Consulting, Project K-Nect is a Wireless Reach–funded pilot program developed to determine whether smart phones can enhance student interest in learning. The project’s initial aim was to improve math skills among at-risk students in rural North Carolina who did not have Internet access at home. The project team created digital content for Algebra I students and then encouraged them to use collaborative learning applications as well as Internet resources, such as Algebra.com. For three consecutive years, the project has shown success in students’ achievement. Students who participated in one of the classes had a 50 percent higher proficiency rate than those who didn’t. In the fall of 2009, 2,000 students were added to the program due to a $2.5 million U.S. Department of Defense Education Activity grant. Project K-Nect has also been incorporated into Algebra II, geometry and biology courses. 

Wireless Reach™ - Through its Wireless Reach initiative, Qualcomm works together with local and global partners to bring wireless technology to underserved communities around the world. And with wireless communication delivering everything from better healthcare to improved education, from business opportunities to safer streets, Wireless Reach is finding innovative ways to improve the quality of life. 

-Wireless Reach collaborated with Google, One Economy and Cricket Communications in order to study the benefits of wireless broadband access and adoption in low-income areas of Washington, D.C. and San Diego. Each family received a data card – providing them with two years of free access on Cricket Wireless’ broadband network. To qualify, each family must have at least one student within grades six through 12 attending a public school. 

-Working with Partners for Digital Equality’s (PDE) Learning Without Walls (LearningWOW) program, Wireless Reach has funded a pilot to explore if 24/7 access to learning materials and communities can help middle school students increase their academic success and digital access in an underserved school district in Atlanta.


A company can only be as forward-thinking as its people; which explains why Qualcomm has become the leading developer of next-generation wireless technology. Across the globe, individuals arrive at Qualcomm with ideas and with the help of a supportive, collaborative environment, they see their ideas come to life. 

Encouraging this kind of creative, team-oriented atmosphere does have its rewards; among them, being named to FORTUNE magazine's list of "100 Best Companies to Work For in America" for 13 years in a row. 

Qualcomm is a global company, a firm with many facets, with each business division changing the way we live and work through its own unique contributions. Driven by a relentless passion for innovation, Qualcomm engineers and professionals have developed many breakthroughs in wireless communication. 

Creativity beyond the inevitable; it’s how tomorrow’s ideas become today’s technology. At Qualcomm, innovations are shaping the world and the future. It is continuously transforming the mobile experience, and it has only just begun. Working with Qualcomm means becoming an integral part of building tomorrow’s wireless landscape. Qualcomm is truly a place to put imagination to work.

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