Qualcomm ( QCOM) investors are busy dancing in the streets, but an emerging set of rival wireless technologies threatens to dampen the festivities.

Having conquered nearly half the U.S. market and laid the groundwork for a repeat performance in China and India, Qualcomm has proven its many skeptics wrong. Its code division multiple access, or CDMA, wireless standard is sweeping the world in many forms, and it continues to win fans. Qualcomm's stock hit yet another two-year high Friday, rising $1.95 to close at $68.23.

But instead of uncorking the champagne, industry observers are watching a new generation of technologies that could derail the Qualcomm locomotive.

Competitors ranging from chip industry powerhouse Intel ( INTC) to closely held technology venture, Flarion, have been busy cooking up new systems that aim to deliver faster, cheaper mobile Net access. Industry analysts say these rival offerings, backed by deep-pocketed sponsors, could soon be eating away at Qualcomm's market dominance.

Max and Flash

For starters, Intel and telecom equipment giants like Alcatel ( ALA) and Siemens ( SI) have been pushing ahead with a wireless broadband standard called 802.16e. This technology, more affectionately known as WiMax, picks up where WiFi left off, enabling laptop users to keep a fast connection while traveling. The link could also serve as a phone connection for voice-over-Internet-protocol, or VoIP, calls.

"The fact that Intel is involved with WiMax is not insignificant," says Nitin Shah, broadband wireless analyst with tech research and strategy shop RHK.

Shah says the wireless industry is ripe for yet another phase of network investment. "All it takes is the right combination of spectrum, standards and scale," says Shah, adding that standardization of WiMax might be the "tipping point," since it would open the market to competing suppliers operating on a common platform.

Another technology that has caught the industry's imagination is flash-orthogonal frequency division multiplexing, or Flash-OFDM. The idea was spawned in Lucent's ( LU) Bell Labs and spun off in a separate business called Flarion, based in Bedminster, N.J.

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