Fujitsu Limited, NTT DOCOMO, INC., NEC Corporation and Fujitsu Semiconductor Limited today announced their agreement to form a joint venture to focus on the development and sales of semiconductor products with built-in modem functions for use in communications equipment.
The joint venture -- Access Network Technology Limited, established by Fujitsu -- is scheduled to begin operations in August, upon the capital contributions of DOCOMO, NEC and Fujitsu Semiconductor.
Until now, handset manufacturers including Fujitsu and NEC, together with DOCOMO, conducted communications platform development work collaboratively.
The expansion of the smartphone market and the increase in data traffic volumes have been making communications platforms increasingly important. The technologies individually held by the companies, as well as the results of their joint development work, offer a huge competitive advantage in the smartphone market, which is expected to experience an even greater global expansion.
Against this backdrop, in the form of a new corporate structure, the joint venture, while enhancing management responsiveness, will bring together technologies from each of the companies to develop industry-leading communications platform product.
The venture pits the Japanese companies against Qualcomm, the world's largest mobile chip manufacturer and leading supplier of core microchips used in fast-selling smartphones and tablets.
Fujitsu will own 52.8 percent of Access Network Technology Ltd.
NTT Docomo and NEC will acquire 19.9 percent and 17.8 percent respectively of the company, while Fujitsu Semiconductor Ltd will own the remaining 9.5 percent, the companies said.
Access Network Technology will aim to gain 7 percent of the global market share for smartphone chips by 2014, Fujitsu said.
The new company will also research products for high-speed Long-Term Evolution (LTE) networks and next generation network technology.
Together with Panasonic, the three companies in Access Network Technology announced a partnership last year with Samsung Electronics to manufacture their own cellphone chips.
The deal was called off this April after the companies failed to agree on partnership terms.