Editor’s note: On June 22, RCR Wireless News published a contributed piece from analyst Mike Krell of James Brehm & Associates LLC titled “Analyst Angle: 5 reasons Qualcomm is soon to be anointed king of IoT silicon.” Following that, Georges Karam, president and CEO of Sequans, responded to the arguments made in that piece. And here’s a response to the response. 

I appreciate the rebuttal authored by Sequans to my article on why Qualcomm should be anointed the King of IoT Connectivity.  Note that the projected Qualcomm/NXP merger was scuttled by the Chinese government after the article was written, which certainly will play a major role in Qualcomm’s IoT strategy moving forward. However, I’m not really swayed by Sequans’s argument.

Sequans’s response focused on the fact that connectivity using cellular technology is the real key, since most of the computing today for IoT is in the cloud.  This fact may be true today.  The reality is, this will not be true in the future. Much of the future of IoT computing will be done on edge devices and aggregation points (gateways), including artificial intelligence and machine learning functions. Cellular connectivity is important, but Wi-Fi, BLE, Zigbee, and GPRS/GSS are and will be playing major roles in both current and future IoT applications.  Qualcomm has a strong portfolio of all these connectivity technologies.

Additionally, another thing Sequans failed to take into account in its response is Qualcomm’s history and breadth in developing and launching machine-to-machine and IoT solutions. Qualcomm was once a co-owner of nPhase, which is the basis of Verizon’s IoT platform, Thingspace. Back around the 2011-2012 timeframe, Hughes Telematics and Qualcomm operated a joint venture, Lifecomm focused on delivering an mPERS device. What’s more, Qualcomm also launched, operated and subsequently spun-out Omnitracs, one of the largest and most widely adopted fleet management and trailer and container-tracking companies globally. So their storied history when combined with their ability to innovate and mountain of ready cash leads us to the conclusion they are head and shoulders above their competitors in the race for IoT supremacy.

To sum it up, computation counts, and the ability to deliver computation AND connectivity at scale are what really count in IoT.  No doubt that one has to earn the title of King of IoT Silicon. Qualcomm has been involved in the IoT space for a long. Though the jury is still out, having the ability to combine computation with different IoT connectivity technologies at scale has the potential to make Qualcomm the King of a large IoT silicon Kingdom for a very long time.

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