How to Invest in 4G Networks and Still Sleep at Night

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If you're looking for a way to invest in 4G LTE wireless networks with as little pain and risk as possible, MIPS Technologies (NAS: MIPS) just joined the shortlist of research candidates. Click here to add MIPS to your Foolish watchlist, because the stock clearly deserves a closer look.

Ready? Okay, let's move on:

The company reported strong first-quarter results with $0.05 of non-GAAP earnings per share on $17.2 million in revenue, in both cases edging out analyst estimates. The next quarter is expected to look very similar, though visibility is limited given the murky conditions in MIPS' core markets of consumer electronics and networking gear.

But that wasn't MIPS' biggest news last night. Leading 4G baseband chip producer Sequans Communications (NAS: SQNS) recently announced that it's switching new products over from ARM (NYS: ARMH) architectures to MIPS -- and the first MIPS-based LTE chip just hit the streets.

MIPS chips already play a large part on the infrastructure side of 4G networking. The Sequans commitment is a whole new market for this processor architecture designer.

LTE is pretty clearly the future in high-speed wireless networking. Verizon (NYS: VZ) and AT&T are already building their LTE networks and even current WiMax enthusiast Sprint Nextel (NYS: S) plans to join the LTE parade.

Handsets using LTE technology are almost unheard of today, but market watcher InStat expects 154 million units shipped in 2015 for a cumulative total of 290 million LTE phones in the wild. To put that number into perspective, the Apple iPhone has the power to move markets, as evidenced by recent swings in component suppliers OmniVision Technologies (NAS: OVTI) and TriQuint Semiconductor (NAS: TQNT) . But Apple will only ship about 84 million iPhones this year, according to analyst estimates.

Getting a piece of the action in a leading supplier to 290 million units should be a market-moving event for MIPS, too. Buying MIPS at 16 times trailing earnings is a lower-risk option than grabbing Sequans shares with a P/E ratio just shy of 80.

So there's one easy way to hitch a ride on the smartphone train. If MIPS still leaves you cold, we've prepared a special video report that shows yet another low-risk mobile investment with a huge payoff. Click here to watch it right now -- we're not charging a penny for the privilege.

At the time this article was published Fool contributor Anders Bylund has created a synthetic long position in OmniVision but holds no other position in any of the companies mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of TriQuint Semiconductor and Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of and creating a bull call spread position in Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinion, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Check out Anders' holdings and bio, or follow him on Twitter and Google+. We have a disclosure policy.

Copyright © 1995 - 2011 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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