Qualcomm Bids $1B for Spectrum in India, Software Analytics Target Smart Grid, San Diego Expects Diverse Run of Electric Vehicles, & More San Diego BizTech News

Qualcomm dominated San Diego’s BizTech news last week, with the kickoff of its World Cup coverage on FLO TV, making a $1 billion bid for broadband spectrum in India, and an acquisition in the Netherlands. You can get that and more here.

Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM) says it’s the provisional winner after bidding more than $1 billion for broadband wireless access spectrum in four Indian cities. After spending that kind of cash, the San Diego wireless giant has big plans to build wireless networks based on its proprietary LTE technology. The move perplexed some observers, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune. But a few WiMax services have been deployed in India, and Peggy Johnson, Qualcomm’s executive vice president for the Americas and India, told the U-T that Qualcomm “wanted to ensure” the path from 3G to LTE was assured.

—San Diego has been nurturing a cluster of software companies that specialize in predictive analytics. Now at least four companies that specialize in analytics—Teradata (NYSE:TDC), EDSA, Zementis, and Detectent—are focusing on developing new ways of analyzing data and making predictions that are useful to utilities. As the power grid gets “smarter,” innovations will be needed to help meet state requirements to get a third of their energy from solar, wind, and other renewable energy sources by 2020.

—The World Cup soccer tournament playing in South Africa through July 11 ranks as the No. 1 sporting event in the world. During the last World Cup in 2006, the cumulative audience over the four-week tournament was more than 26.3 billion people. Qualcomm’s FLO TV is broadcasting this year’s World Cup matches to mobile devices, although FLO TV wasn’t able to take advantage of the much bigger audience outside the United States. A FLO TV spokeswoman told me, “We are not satisfied with the overall take-up of mobile TV in the US, but we are optimistic about broadcast, mobile video and future FLO services.”

—After previewing its 3D TVs for reporters at its North America headquarters in San Diego, Sony Electronics says it is now taking orders. Unlike some 3D television makers, though, Sony has placed its bet on technology that requires active shutter 3D glasses that cost $150 a pair.

Qualcomm—there’s that name again—said its European venture arm has led a new investment round in Anteryon, an optical module maker for mobile phone cameras based in Eindhoven, in the Netherlands.

—Paul Barber, the managing general partner of San Diego-based JMI and a longtime investor and director of Bothell, WA-based Vertafore, will get to cash out his firm’s investment. TPG Capital announced plans to acquire Vertafore, which provides software and services to the insurance industry, for $1.4 billion.

—The San Diego area is serving as an extensive test market over the next year for at least 10 different types of plug-in electric vehicles. The largest rollout is scheduled to begin in December as the five-passenger Nissan Leaf all-electric vehicle becomes available here. Nissan plans to sell as many as 1,000 of the zero-emission vehicles in San Diego.

Bruce V. Bigelow was the editor of Xconomy San Diego from 2008 to 2018. Read more about his life and work here. Follow @bvbigelow

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