Samsung To Use Philips WiFi Chips In FMC Phones

FMC, or Fixed-Mobile Convergence, is the acronym cooked up to describe phones that can roam between mobile networks and fixed infrastructure, but in this context, the fixed infrastucture is WiFi! (That is, WiFi from an AP attached to a broadband wire). In building FMC handsets, Korean giant Samsung announced a deal to use WiFi chips from Royal Philips Electronics here in San Jose, where both firms have offices. In fact, the San Jose Philips office was demonstrating a very low-power ‘g’ chip at CTIA in New Orleans, and I wouldn’t be surprised if that weren’t the crux of this deal. Power consumption has been one of the two main hurdles for WiFi in cellphones, the other being minuscule mobile carrier motivation to subsidize FMC handsets (which, from their perspective, only serve to move traffic off their toll road). Regardless, the Philips chip is likely to make WiFi phones more palatable in enterprise situations, where the carrier subsidy is not necessary to make a purchase decision.

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