Broadcom bolsters FiOS foothold

The deal struck last week between Verizon Wireless and Irvine, Calif. chipmaker Broadcom has implications beyond mobile devices. In a conference call with analysts held yesterday, Verizon Wireless executives said Broadcom chips would get more play in the FiOS TV initiative.

Frank Louthan, Verizon Wireless President simply said the chipmaker's role would be "expanded" in FiOS as well as new devices:

"Broadcom has many chips in our cell phones today, but they are also involved in our FIOS set-top boxes and some of the multimedia over cable electronics that we put in the household today. I think [Verizon Communications chief technical officer, Dick Lynch's] role going forward will be looking at the opportunity to expand that, to have them be a second source provider in some of our devices and expanding them into new devices that we will be bringing to market. So more to come on that… over the next quarter."

Broadcom has been involved in a two-year legal battle with Qualcomm that culminated last month in a ban on the importation of cell phones containing the disputed Qualcomm chipsets, including those used by Verizon Wireless. Qualcomm said it would seek relief on the international ban from the White House, but such an override is unprecedented. Louthan said, "so we simply could not count on that happening."

For more:
- The conference call transcript is available here