Qualcomm Inc. signed an agreement with China's biggest mobile phone maker to provide chipsets, software and technical support, a move that could make up for a costly delay in a deal with another China phone company. Phone maker Eastcom said it will develop mobile handsets and wireless phone equipment based on Qualcomm's wireless technology. The contract could be worth several million dollars to San Diego-based Qualcomm, PaineWebber analyst Walter Piecyk said.
Qualcomm's bid to have its wireless phone technology, known as code division multiple access, or CDMA, used across China was set back when China's No. 2 phone company, China United Telecommunications Corp., said this week that it would delay building such a network for two years. Analysts questioned how much demand will exist for the phones without a nationwide service network on which to use them. Qualcomm's technology works in limited areas in China. Qualcomm shares, which rose 27-fold last year, have fallen 61% this year. The shares jumped $5.81 to close at $74.69 on Nasdaq.